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Colfax accepts Fourth Avenue bid of $337,000

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  The Colfax Village Board has awarded the low bid for the Fourth Avenue street project to RM Schlosser Excavating out of Durand.

The village board accepted Schlosser’s bid of $336,676 at the June 23 meeting.

All together, five bids were received for Fourth Avenue, said Lisa Fleming, an engineer with Ayres Associates.

 The high bid for Fourth Avenue came from Pember Companies out of Menomonie at $424,339.

A1 Excavating, Bloomer, bid $349,311 for the project; Haas Sons out of Thorp bid $353,848; and McCabe Construction, Eau Claire, bid $389,323.

Construction on Fourth Avenue is expected to begin at the end of August or the beginning of September.

The Colfax Village Board recently approved extending the boundary for Tax Increment District No. 3 and adding the Fourth Avenue project so that it could be paid for with TIF funds.

When a tax increment district is formed, the property taxes paid on new value in the district go into a special fund for a certain period of time and can be used to pay for improvements to the TIF, rather than going to the village, county, school district and technical school district.

In addition to being approved by the Colfax Village Board, Expanding TID 3 and adding the Fourth Avenue project must also be approved by a joint review board made up of representatives from the county, school district, village and technical school district.

The joint review board for TIF 3 was scheduled to meet June 26 to give final approval.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to accept the bid from Schlosser.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a training request from Colfax Police Chief Bill Anderson to attend a training session on complying with Wisconsin’s Open Records law on July 15 at the Dunn County Judicial Center.

• Approved bartender operators’ licenses for Kandee Burton and Bethany Ferry from July 1 until June 30, 2015.

• Approved a Class “B” picnic license for the Colfax Softball Association at Tom Prince Memorial Park for July 11 through July 13; August 1 through August 3; and August 22 through August 24.

• Accepted a quote from Coffman and Associates out of Bloomer for $1,226.86 to network the computers in the Colfax Police Department. With a networking system in place, officers will be able to check for records while out in the squad vehicle without having to return to the office, Police Chief Anderson said. A quote for $552 from 24/7 Telcom out of Menomonie was discarded. The 24/7 Telcom representative refused to give a quote on comparable equipment but instead insisted, “you don’t need that,” said Police Chief Anderson, who noted that he had talked to other police departments that have used Coffman for networking and have been pleased with the service.

• Approved donating $7,500 to the Colfax Commercial Club for the sesquicentennial celebration in Colfax July 17 through July 20 with the condition that the commercial club could borrow an additional $7,500 from the village, if necessary, to cover expenses for the celebration. Village Trustee Beverly Schauer voted against the motion.

• Approved a new arrangement for a medical director from Sacred Heart Hospital for the Colfax Rescue Squad. The current medical director, Dr. Fenno, is resigning and leaving the area. Instead of a single medical director, the hospital has decided to use a group of medical directors: Dr. Stephanie Wagner, Dr. Shef Massey, and Dr. James Concannon.

• Approved an advanced life support intercept agreement with Eau Claire Fire and Rescue. The Colfax Rescue Squad has had an agreement with Eau Claire for a number of years, and usually those agreements are an “automatic renewal” each year, said Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad. Several village board members wondered why the board was reviewing the agreement this year. Last year, Knutson said, one village board member wanted the agreement to be reviewed every year, even if nothing had changed. The village board’s motion included an automatic renewal on an annual basis. Knutson assured the board he would return with the agreement if anything changed.

• Approved repairs to the water main on Iverson Road and to the storm drain going down to Eighteen Mile Creek in the area directly north of Iverson Road. Rand Bates, director of public works, said the storm drain repair would use materials the village already owns that are in storage at the public works building. The entire project is expected to cost about $7,500. Bates said he is hoping to have Iverson Road blacktopped at the same time work is being done on the Fourth Avenue project.

• Approved hiring a company from Rice Lake for the amount of $22,000 to grind materials stored out at the lagoons for base course for road projects. Grinding the leftover materials, such as chunks of sidewalk, and using the material for base course will save the village having to buy basecourse for road projects.

• Discussed the village’s swimming pool ordinance, which requires a fence around a backyard swimming pool. The ordinance has been on the books since the 1990s, but the village has never enforced it, said Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer. The village should either enforce the ordinance or remove it from the ordinances, she said. Police Chief Anderson has been asking village residents with pools if they are aware that there is an ordinance, and none of them have been aware of it. If a tragedy should occur and the ordinance is not enforced, the village will probably be liable, Ponto said. The village board instructed Ponto to check with the village’s attorney about the legal ramifications of not enforcing the ordinance or removing it from the ordinances.

• Set a meeting at 5:30 p.m. on July 14 to review the employee handbook.