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Fourth Ave. project could be delayed until spring

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The village’s Fourth Avenue street reconstruction project could be delayed until spring.

Lisa Fleming, a civil engineer with Ayres Associates, said at the Colfax Village Board’s August 25 meeting that the contractor, R.M. Schlosser Excavating out of Durand, was currently working on a four-week project in Fountain City.

The village board awarded the low bid of $336,676 to Schlosser at the board’s June 23 meeting with the expectation that the project would begin in August or early September.

Beginning the Fourth Avenue project in October will not leave enough time to complete the street reconstruction before cold weather sets in, Fleming said.

If the contractor starts on the project, leaving the gravel over winter causes problems, and if the first layer of blacktop is down but the project is not finished, then the blacktop chips, Fleming said.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, wondered about the fine of $770 per day that the village would assess if the project goes beyond the specified completion date.

The fine “works” only if the village can show how the village was damaged by the project not being completed in time, Fleming said.

Gunnufson wondered if any other contractors were available.

“They’re swamped,” Fleming said.

One option would be for Colfax to be number one on Schlosser’s list for next spring, she said.

Fleming said she has had problems with Schlosser on other jobs and suggested that the village could tell the contractor he is not welcome to bid on Colfax projects after this.

Fleming said she understands that small municipalities usually want to give the work to local companies or to smaller companies.

“You might get lucky and he will show up in two weeks,” she said.

Fall often has a rainy period, and if the street is ripped up, then there will be problems with mud, said Mark Halpin, village trustee.

Jeremy Klukas, village trustee, asked about using another contractor to do the street project.

The village has a signed contract with Schlosser, so if the project cannot be done this fall, Schlosser would have to do it in the spring, Fleming said.

“I might be jumping the gun, but I wanted to tell you so you are not be caught off guard,” she said.

A pre-construction meeting is planned for September 10, Fleming said.

Gunnufson suggested putting the Fourth Avenue project on the agenda for the village board’s next meeting on September 8.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a training request from Colfax Police Chief Bill Anderson to attend an instructor development course at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College September 8 through September 11. Police Chief Anderson indicated on the request form that obtaining instructor training would eventually allow him to provide training for Colfax police officers.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Katelynn Olson for July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.

• Approved a permit for keeping four domesticated hen chickens for Leslie Moen, 809 University Avenue.

• Approved purchasing pumps and tanks for caustic soda in the village’s wellhouses and a cost of $1,447.95 for each of the three wellhouses. The caustic soda brings the pH of the water up to eight, said Rand Bates, director of public works.