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Colfax approves beer garden demolition and engineering

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Out with the old — in with the new.

The Colfax Village Board has approved demolishing the collapsed beer garden building at the Colfax Fairgrounds along with engineering services to build a new one.

At the April 14 meeting, the Colfax Village Board accepted a bid of $1,100 from GP Excavating of Colfax for demolishing what is left of the beer tent.

The bid also includes $275 for removing the concrete base where the bar sits, a cost of $225 for scraping and disposing of several inches of dirt that will be full of nails and other debris from the demolition and $280 per load for base course to smooth out the hole.

In addition, the village board approved a proposal from Auth Consulting and Associates out of Menomonie in the amount of $4,500 for engineering services.

Because the structure is considered to be a commercial building, is located in a municipal park, is used by the public and is over a certain number of cubic feet, the plans must be drawn up by an architect or an engineer and must receive state approval.

The exact cost of the demolition will not be known until the job is finished.

Several village board members questioned whether the concrete slab would have to be removed.

The amount of fill required will depend upon whether the concrete is removed and how much debris dirt must be removed from the site.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, said there was nothing wrong with the concrete slab, that it should remain, and that a new bar could be built on top of the existing concrete.

Annie Schieber, village trustee and chair of the parks committee, pointed out it is not yet known whether the new building will be in the exact same location and that the concrete slab could be in the wrong place for a new bar.

Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, reported the village will receive about $40,000 in insurance money for the beer tent.

“We will have a better view of it once the dirt is out. We need to decide exactly what to do with the building and where to place it,” Schieber said.

The contractor is anticipating needing two loads of base course, she said, adding that the amount of base course will also depend upon whether the concrete slab is removed.

“When they’re done with the base course, then we will have a flat surface to build on,” Schieber said.

The contractor will coordinate with Rand Bates, director of public works, for the demolition, and members of the American Legion and the Colfax firefighters will remove what they want to save, such as the cooler and the ticket booths, she said.

“They don’t care about the bar. From my understanding, the bar will be rebuilt anyway,” Schieber said.

The beer garden at the Colfax fairgrounds collapsed following a wet, heavy snow toward the end of February.


Two proposals were received for engineering services from Cedar Corporation and from Auth Consulting and Associates.

Both proposals were for $4,500.

The Auth proposal noted that the $4,500 total does not include $500 or $600 for state approval fees.

Village board members disagreed about whether the Cedar Corporation bid of $4,500 included the state approval fees.

Gunnufson said the Cedar Corporation bid did include state fees.

According to information included in the village board packet, the Cedar Corporation proposal for $4,500 was for “architectural and structural state-approved plans.”

Neither proposal in the village board packet included any information about a timeline and whether the beer garden would be rebuilt by the time of the Colfax Free Fair from June 12 to June 15.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the bid from GP Excavating for demolition of the collapsed beer garden.

On a vote of three “yes” to two “no,” the Colfax Village Board approved the proposal from Auth Consulting and Associates.

Mark Halpin, village trustee, and Gunnufson both voted “no” on the motion.

Village trustees Schieber, Beverly Schauer and Mike Buchner voted “yes” on the motion.

Village trustee Richard Johnson abstained from voting.

Trustee Susan Olson was absent from the meeting.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a training request for an EMT refresher course for Valerie Henrichs and Daniel Alderfer and for an EMT training course for Joshua Shipman.

• Approved a training request for Ponto to attend a labor and employment law seminar on May 9.

• Presented a plaque of appreciation to Richard Johnson, village trustee, for 20 years of service on the Colfax Village Board.

• Postponed taking any action on a contribution to the J.D. Simons memorial stone until the next meeting on April 28.  Village Trustee Schauer expressed the opinion that the village should not be paying for anybody’s headstone, not even the founder of the village.

• Approved a request from the FFA Alumni to plant trees at the Colfax Fairgrounds to create shade for the stage area. FFA Alumni members will select the trees, and Rand Bates, director of public works, will determine the exact location for the trees.

• Approved a motion authorizing the commencement of a legal proceeding to reset the second plat of the Colfax cemetery (also known at Evergreen Cemetery).

• Approved an application for EMT and ambulance standby from Otter Creek Farm for 14 events in 2014.

• Approved a motion acknowledging the drinking water sanitary survey report. The report notes that the village needs a cross-connection ordinance and a well-abandonment ordinance.

• Postponed action on running electricity to the wastewater treatment lagoons at a cost of $6,500 from Dunn Energy; purchasing a chemical feed pump for alum at the lagoons to help control phosphorus discharge at a cost of $5,725; upgrades for the Solar Bees at a cost of $2,730.

• Approved allowing the U.S. Geological Survey to sample Well No. 2 for three months, June, July and August. The information will be used in the National Water-Quality Assessment program for the Principal Aquifer Study. The sample will be used in a larger study that will be sampling 74 wells in the Cambrian Ordovician Aquifer system.

• Approved a quote from Mlazgar Associates out of Eden Prairie, Minn., in the amount of $5,060 for two “clamshell” bases to replace broken light pole bases downtown.

• Approved a quote of $4,709 from Morgen’s Auto Body to sandblast, prime and paint the light pole bases downtown.