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$335,000 Fourth Ave. project starting soon, Third will be next

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Fourth Avenue street project that was supposed to be completed last year will soon be under construction, and the Colfax Village Board has authorized a public meeting on Third Avenue in April.

Lisa Fleming, a civil engineer with Ayres Associates, reported on the Fourth Avenue project at the Colfax Village Board’s March 23 meeting.

The village board awarded the low bid of $336,676 to R.M. Schlosser out of Durand in June of last year.

The contractor was unable to start the project before cold weather set in last fall and agreed to put Colfax first on the list for the 2015 construction season.

Fleming said she had been in contact with Schlosser. As soon as the road bans are off in mid to late April, construction will start on Fourth Avenue, she said.

Prior to advertising for bids for Fourth Avenue, the village board 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.

All together, five bids were received for Fourth Avenue.The high bid came from Pember Companies out of Menomonie at $424,339.

Third Avenue

In keeping with the village board’s five-year street improvement plan, the next project will be Third Avenue.

Fleming pointed out that even if the village board does not want to do two street projects in one year, the engineering and plans can be completed this year for Third Avenue, and then the plans can “sit on the shelf” until the village is ready to do the project.

According to a cost estimate that Fleming provided to the village board, Third Avenue would cost approximately $397,000.

“I always try to be the ‘high bidder,’” Fleming noted, adding that she estimates on the high side to try to eliminate cost surprises for municipalities.

The Third Avenue project will be “almost a carbon copy of Fourth,” she said.

Mark Halpin, village trustee, wondered about the time frame for Third Avenue.

If the village board decides to go ahead with Third Avenue, the project could be bid out in May, the bid opening in June, and construction could start at the end of July and finish by October, Fleming said.

The village is financing Fourth Avenue through a loan with Dairy State Bank, said Scott Gunnufson, village president.

The village will have to determine what debt capacity remains, he said.

“When we did the (five year) plan we knew we might not be able to do (a street) every year,” Gunnufson said.

Fleming suggested setting up a public informational meeting in April for the Third Street project.

Reviewing the plans with the public does not obligate the village to move forward with the street project this year, she said.

The Colfax Village Board approved a public informational meeting on the Fourth Avenue project and the Third Avenue project on April 21.

The Fourth Avenue portion of the meeting will start at 6 p.m. The Third Avenue portion of the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Colfax Rescue Squad building.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved purchasing  a set of wheel attachments for the six-way bulldozer blade for the Bobcat at a cost of $2,595. Rand Bates, director of public works, said there was a miscommunication when the village purchased the Bobcat. Bates said he thought the wheel attachments for the blade were part of the package, too. The equipment is used all over the village for a variety of projects, he said. The wheels turn the six-way blade into a bulldozer instead of a push blade, Bates said. The Colfax Village Board approved purchasing the wheel attachments and to split the cost among water, sewer, streets, parks and cemetery.

• Approved a recommendation from the parks committee to side the warming house for the ice rink at Tom Prince Memorial Park at a cost not to exceed $300 for materials. The labor will be provided by a person who is required to do community service.

• Learned that the village has received seven concrete garbage receptacles from the state and approved purchasing inserts and push-tops for the garbage cans at a base price cost of $1,078.

• Approved authorizing village employees to construct a swale at the fairgrounds to improve drainage around the concession stands and the refreshment building.