Colfax approves building salt-sand shed at lift station (but where’s the $32,000 coming from?)

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Colfax Village Board has approved building a salt-sand shed at the lift station, although at this point, no one knows where the $32,000 will come from to build it.

The Colfax Village Board approved locating the salt-sand shed at the lift station on state Highway 170 on the west side of Colfax at the March 27 meeting.

The existing building on Evergreen Street used to store salt-sand for treating slippery roads in the winter is scheduled to be demolished at some point in the near future.

Over the past few years, village officials and village employees have become increasingly concerned about the safety of the building constructed in 1903, especially since the door of the building can no longer be closed.

Several village board members expressed the hope that the village could sell the lot on Evergreen Street for enough money to pay for the salt-sand shed.

A proposal from Structures Unlimited out of Stratford for a 30-foot wide by 50-foot long single-pole arched framework structure for storing salt-sand is $15,590.

The cost for site preparation from Bobcat Pro is $1,250.

The concrete for the floor of the structure is bid at $15,520 from Nellessen Concrete.

State regulations require the salt-sand to be stored under cover and on a concrete slab.

The structure is rated for a 90 mph wind, noted Rand Bates, director of public works.

Delivery on the structure would be about four weeks from the order, and after the concrete is ready, it would take a couple of days to put it up, he said.

Line item

Keith Burcham, village trustee, wondered where the money is coming from to pay for the salt-sand shed.

Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, said she thought there was a line item in the 2017 budget but then discovered there is no line item for the salt-sand shed.

The street equipment budget has $10,000, she said.

Bates strongly objected to using the street equipment budget for the salt-sand shed.

The village could sell the lot on Evergreen Street, and then additional money to cover the cost of the new structure could come from the general fund, Niggemann suggested.

Money from line items that is not spent goes to the general fund, “and then you never get it back,” Bates said.

A fund was designated in 2013 for a salt-sand shed, but what happened to the money? he asked.

Niggemann said she would have to research meeting minutes to find out if a line item had been established in 2013.

If money was set aside then, it would have been while Jackie Ponto was administrator-clerk-treasurer, and if that was case, Niggemann said she would not have known about it when she started working in the position in late 2014.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved referring the matter to the public property committee to establish the process for the sale of the lot on Evergreen Street.