City will back fair on storm shelter construction

GLENWOOD CITY — The City Council approved a plan to aid the St. Croix County Fair in the construction of a storm shelter on the fairgrounds.

Chris Straight from the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission out of Eau Claire presented the Council with details of what he called the construction of a “Safe Room.” He explained to the council that federal grant funds are available through FEMA, with a ten percent matching funds on the city’s part. He noted that because the city has a lower income population it qualifies for the ten percent match, while the best that could been done with county funds was a 25 percent matching funds.

Straight explained that the structure would be a poured concrete structure capable of with standing winds as high as 220 miles per hour. He noted that the fair board has already decided on the spot for the new structure near the entrance by the rodeo arena. He put the cost of the structure at just over $400,000, which would mean that the city’s share would be $40,000. But, noted that the structure would accommodate 300 people, and include bathroom facilities. Straight stated that the facility could be open for other events, like holding a meeting.

Council member Ken Peterson had several questions, as did other members of the council, and one was “how many people are at the fairground during the fair?” The answer was up to “5,000”. So the question was why only 300 people. It will be designed for the 4-H members and their leaders that stay overnight on the fairgrounds and also room for the carnival workers. He was also questioned, “Why the fair board could not be the applicant?” But he responded that the city needed to be the responsible party to sponsor the application.

Peterson commented that, “He couldn’t see this community coming up with $35,000 to $40,000 to match the grant funds.” But Mayor John Larson made a point to bring up a little history of the city’s desire to have a storm shelter. “It started back in the 1970s when the trailer park was built,” Larson stated. “Each time it was discussed, it was a money thing, and now we will never have an opportunity like this again.” Larson concluded, “It’s a win – win deal for us.”

The council voted 6-0 to sponsor the grant application.

Other Council Business

During his monthly report to the council, Police Chief Robert Darwin announced that one of the department’s part time officers, Neil Johnson, has resigned. Mayor Larson inquired of Darwin, if he had any complaints about the new ATV rules allowing those machines on city streets. Darwin responded by noting that he had received a couple but those issue have been taken care of.

The council approved a picnic license for Glenhaven Auxiliary for their event on October 18th. Approved appointment of Ken Peterson to the local library board.

Following a closed session the council approved the purchase of a lot at the corner of Pine and Sixth Street that was the site of a former power company sub-station. The cost was $1,500.

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