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Colfax to consult arborist about Tower Park trees

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  As part of the effort to improve the drainage around the Colfax Municipal Building, the village’s contractor has said the Tower Park trees will have to be cut down.

Pat Eggert, a member of the Colfax Woman’s Club, suggested at the Colfax Village Board’s October 12 meeting that the village consult with an arborist to find out if there is a way to route the drainage pipes through the park without damaging the tree roots as much.

The basswood tree in the park is very old, Eggert noted.

“The only reason the park is so well used and liked is because of the shade … it is my understanding that arborists working with construction crews can work around mature trees without killing the trees,” she said.

Eggert said she understands that the maple closest to the library may have to be cut down but she is hopeful that at least the basswood tree can be saved.

“When we had an arborist that the Woman’s Club hired a few years back to trim up the basswood, it had a lot of limbs that were low. When he was finished with it, the structure of the tree was healthier,” Eggert said.

“A tree service called in to remove trees is not interested in saving them. I would urge you to get advice from an arborist when you know what the construction is going to look like and where they need to dig,” she said.

The arborist used by the Colfax Woman’s Club was Expert Tree Service out of Menomonie, Eggert said.

Eggert spoke to the village board during the public comments portion of the meeting.


Later on, when the village board came to the agenda item for the Shackleton Tree Service estimate of $1,150 to remove the trees, Scott Gunnufson, village president, said the the village would try to save the trees if possible.

“I think that’s definitely noteworthy and (worth) looking into, to have a second set of eyes,” he said.

Approving a contract with Shackleton would be in the event of a “worst case scenario,” Gunnufson said.

Gunnufson said the village would contact the arborist during the week “and find out what he feels is appropriate and coordinate with that. If the contractor and arborist need to get together, we’ll make sure that happens.”

Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, said she would contact the arborist and would coordinate with the contractor if necessary.

A Breeze

At a special meeting October 5, village board members agreed to move forward with A Breeze Construction’s proposal to improve drainage around the municipal building in an effort to eliminate water infiltration in the basement.

Representatives for the engineering firms of Ericksen Roed & Associates and CBS Squared have looked at the building and agree that problems with standing water in the municipal building basement are because of inadequate drainage around the building’s foundation.

The original estimate from A Breeze Construction was $54,371, but the numbers have been revised to $55,171, Gunnufson told the village board.

A total of $2,700 was subtracted for village employees removing the asphalt from the parking lot in back of the building and an additional $3,500 was added for another catch basin.

The project also will include $5,000 for CBS Squared’s services, and the $1,150 for Shackleton Tree Service if the trees need to be removed.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the changes submitted by A Breeze Construction for a total of $55,171.40.

Start date

The earliest that representatives for A Breeze said they could get the project on their schedule would be October 26, Niggemann said.

Depending upon the weather, the final completion of the project may not occur until next spring, according to documents submitted by A Breeze Construction.

Village Trustee Carey Davis wondered if the village would need any permits from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the storm sewer on Main Street.

“We should not need any permits from the DOT,” said Rand Bates, director of public works.

A storm inlet is already installed right outside the building near the front sidewalk, and the storm inlet has a 15-inch pipe, he said.

“It does not have anything to do with Highway 40. It’s an eight (inch pipe) going into 15. That’s not doing anything out on 40. I can’t see there’s any need for permits,” Bates said.

CBS Squared has been to Colfax twice to survey the area, Niggemann said.

“I’m not sure they have the final answer back,” she said.


The Colfax Village Board also approved a resolution to transfer $61,321.40 out of the designated fund for the municipal building basement to the village’s general fund to pay for the municipal building project.

The amount transferred includes the estimate from A Breeze Construction, CBS Squared and Shackleton Tree Service.

Mark Halpin, village trustee, noted that the total could end up being adjusted again after an arborist has been consulted and if A Breeze works around the Tower Park trees.

The village of Colfax has $77,912 in one designated fund for the municipal building basement and $165,280 in another fund designated for village hall improvements.

The $77,912 comes from $50,000 set aside by the village board in 1999 and from private donations for  improving the municipal building basement.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Learned that a control system for Well No. 1 had failed completely and that a new control system had been installed for $6,566.80. Replacing the control system was an emergency, because without it, the village ran the risk of running short on water, Gunnufson said.

• Learned that Trick-or-Treat hours will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, October 31.

• Learned from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department that Express Mart had a third violation within the last 12 months of selling alcohol to a minor. No monetary penalty is attached to the violation, but if convicted, Express Mart’s liquor license could be suspended for up to ten days.