By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved placing a culvert under Bremer Avenue as part of the expansion plan for Timber Technologies.
Timber Technologies is planning a 25,000 square foot expansion to enclose the yard where the lumber is stored, said Dale Schiferl, co-owner of Timber Technologies, at the Colfax Village Board’s August 13 meeting.
People who work in the yard now are “pulling lumber” in the heat and the dust and in the snow and the cold, he said.
In fact, one person had worked there for a week and had only just turned in his resignation because the work was too hard and it was too hot out in the yard, Schiferl said.
The plan is to enclose the yard and to automate some of the work, he said.
“I don’t know if we can staff the place for much longer without automating,” Schiferl said.
“We have to do something to get people to stay,” he said.
Because of the 25,000 square foot project, Timber Tech will be “disturbing” more than an acre of land. The company also will be adding a certain amount of impervious surface to create more runoff during rainstorms and will need to install a large retention pond on the south side of Bremer Avenue, he said.
Timber Tech already has a retention pond on the north side of Bremer Avenue.
A culvert must be placed under Bremer Avenue so the water can drain from the retention pond on the south side to the retention pond on the north side, Schiferl said.
When the Timber Technologies building was constructed, it was built four to six feet higher than the surrounding land, Schiferl said.
“We’re above everybody around us,” he said.
Because the building was constructed on a mound of fill, the enclosure for the yard also will have to be constructed on the same level as the rest of the building, Schiferl said.
The building was built on speculation, and three or four businesses occupied the building before Timber Tech bought the property, noted Gary Stene, village president.
The retention pond on the south side will actually fulfill two purposes: making a retention pond to hold stormwater and also providing some of the fill for the expansion, Schiferl said.
“We can get half of the fill from digging the retention pond on the south side of the road,” he said.
The plans for the expansion must go the state of Wisconsin for approval before any construction can begin. Timber Tech had hoped to be “turning dirt” now, but because it is almost fall, construction will have to wait until next spring, Schiferl said.
Schiferl said he plans to dig the retention pond twice as big as is actually needed because “we need the fill.”
The estimate for the amount of fill needed is a thousand dump truck loads, he noted.
The retention pond will have safety ledges, Schiferl said.
The new pond will act as a reservoir for stormwater. Some of the water will infiltrate into the ground from the pond and some of it will run into the retention pond on the north side of Bremer Avenue, he said.
The fill where the retention pond will be dug is “good fill,” Schiferl noted.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to allow Timber Technologies to move forward with installing a culvert under Bremer Avenue.
In addition to Village President Stene, Village Trustees Margaret Burcham, Keith Burcham, Carey Davis, Mark Halpin, Annie Jenson and David Wolff voted in favor of the motion.
“If anybody knows of fill that’s looking for a home, I’ve got a home for it,” Schiferl commented.