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Colfax committee wants more options for Cedar Street

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — What’s best for Cedar Street?

After discussing a variety of options for Cedar Street, the Colfax Village Board’s streets committee asked for more information at the conclusion of a meeting held November 27.

The issue with Cedar Street is drainage — or lack thereof — causing water to pool up and not drain away very fast from Morgen’s Auto Body and property owned by the Colfax Village Board member Mark Halpin.

Although village officials had initially hoped to be able to install a drainage pipe through the Outhouse Tavern’s parking lot and connect it with the big storm sewer running along state Highway 40 to the Red Cedar River, that route is not an option, said Rand Bates, director of public works.

The other option would be to run the drainage pipe south on village right-of-way toward Third Avenue and then out to Highway 40, he said.

Installing pipe to the storm sewer to drain water from two properties on Cedar Street, is “a total waste of money,” Bates said.

Catch basins might be an option for dealing with the water that pools up, he said.

Street work

Recent work on Cedar Street brought the road’s elevation “back to where it should be,” Bates said.

The problem with the road being at the proper elevation is water draining away after a rain storm is following the ditch line and collecting by Morgen’s Auto Body and Halpin’s property, he said.

Before the street was fixed, water drained away better on its own and did not collect in such large amounts, Halpin said, noting after one recent rain storm, he watched with concern as the water collected and began flooding the yard.

Halpin said he had never seen water come that close to the house before.

A three-inch lip exists now between the yards and the street, he said.

Before the road had been modified, a person could turn a lawn mower on the street and go back to mowing in the yard, which is not possible now, Halpin said.

Part of the problem is the village is dealing with street situations created years ago, said Gary Stene, village president.

If the village were building streets from scratch now, problems like this would not exist in the future, he said.

One solution would be to remove the asphalt, take out the five or six or seven inches of dirt added to bring the street up to a higher elevation and then reinstall the asphalt, Bates said.

The work done on Cedar Street cost $16,000, and removing the asphalt, removing the dirt and reinstalling the asphalt would cost a similar amount, he said.

Street committee members said they wanted more information about options and potential costs for Cedar Street before making a recommendation to the village board.

Third Avenue

Members of the street committee also discussed reconstructing Third Avenue.

The original cost estimate from Ayres Associates included new water main, but new water main was installed in 1983 so it would not need to be installed new again now, Bates said.

Without the water main included, the cost for reconstructing Third Avenue was $174,670 for 486 feet  and $125,320 for 330 feet.

After Third Avenue is finished, then streets on the east side of the village will be pretty much completed, with only Roosevelt Street and Dunn Street left, Bates said.