Colfax sets Fourth Avenue meeting for April 8

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Although the Colfax Village Board has not yet decided whether to do the Fourth Avenue project this year or next year, a public informational meeting about the project has been scheduled for April 8.

The estimated cost of the Fourth Avenue project is $330,000 without sidewalk, said Lisa Fleming, an engineer with Ayres Associates, at the Colfax Village Board’s March 10 meeting.

One issue about the Fourth Avenue project is a retaining wall, she said.

Several options exist including doing nothing and putting the retaining wall back the way it is now; removing the wall on both Park and Fourth Avenue, removing the trees and grading back almost to the house; removing the wall on Park and Fourth, leaving the trees and grading back to the tree line; removing the wall on Fourth almost to the corner with Park and grading the lawn to fit, Fleming said.

Fleming said her first choice would be taking out the retaining wall on Park and Fourth, removing the trees and grading back to the house.

Her second choice would be to remove the retaining wall on both streets, leave the trees and grade back to the tree line.

Fleming’s third choice would be removing the wall on Fourth Avenue almost to the corner and grading the lawn to fit.

Her fourth choice would be doing nothing and putting the retaining wall back the way it is now.

Fleming pointed out that some of the trees in question are on the village’s right-of-way.

“It will not be too long before they have to come out anyway,” she said.

“Half the time, I go through a job and they beg me to save the trees in a certain location, and I save them, but with the caveat, two years from now when it dies, do not come back to us to get it out. If it is your tree now, it is your tree in two years,” Fleming said.

The retaining wall creates a small liability issue for the village; a clear spot is required two feet back from the curb, and the retaining wall is now in what should be the clear spot, she said.

Village Trustee Mark Halpin wondered if Fleming could tell the property owners about the trees.

“If you share that with the property owner, you might hear, just go ahead and take it out,” he said.

“Nine times out of ten, I do hear that. If we end up cutting close to tree roots, we end up killing it anyway,” Fleming replied.

Although the retaining wall is in the right-of-way, “in a small community, you just don’t do something like (take it out) without discussion,” she said.

The public informational meeting on April 8 will be held at the Department of Public Works building on Railroad Avenue and begins at 6 p.m.