Village of Colfax sets parking restrictions on High Street for school district access
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by LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — From September 1 to June 1 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, people will no longer be able to park on High Street west of Birch Street near the Colfax school district.
It is difficult for the school buses to get through when cars are parked on both sides of High Street, especially in the morning, said Jeff Prince, village president, at the Colfax Village Board’s May 8 meeting.
In addition to operating Prince’s Windshield Repair and serving as village president, Prince also drives a school bus route morning and evening.
Parking on High Street has been an issue there for a couple of years, said Colfax Police Chief Bill Anderson.
The police chief said he has talked to the people who parked in that area and it has been “good for a while, but then they’re right back at it. (The buses) have to fight to get through there.”
When parents are dropping off their kids at school and then are leaving on High Street, and there are cars parked along High Street, there’s not enough room to get through there with the bus, Prince said.
The buses have to wait for the cars to go through there, he said.
Gary Stene, village trustee, noted that High Street also is narrower than other streets in town that are newer.
The buses are going west to east, so it’s tough to make the swing, he said.
There is no stop sign on Ash Street, and the buses come in and go out that way because it makes for a smooth turn onto and off High Street, Stene said.
Police Chief Anderson suggested no parking from September 1 until June 1.
Anne Jenson, village trustee, suggested no parking from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the school year.
The buses arrive at the school district between 7:50 a.m. and 8:05 a.m., and school is finished at 3:15, although now it is 3:30 because of the added minutes to make up the snow days, Prince said.
If the village board approved the ordinance prohibiting parking on High Street west of the school district, Prince said he would like to see it enforced before the start of the next school year.
The village board can take action on no parking on High Street, then the ordinance can be revised, and then the village board can review the ordinance for final approval, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
Rand Bates, director of public works, said he would have to measure the distance from Birch Street along High Street where “no parking” would be posted so the number of feet could be included in the ordinance.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved “no parking” on High Street west of Birch Street, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., September 1 through June 1, on both sides of the street approximately to the intersection with Ash Street.
In additional business, the Colfax Village Board approved an additional agreement for CBS Squared for the company’ work on the wastewater treatment plant Red Cedar River stabilization project.
The Clean Water Fund Loan application is for 2024 for the additional money the village ended up owing on the project, Niggemann said.
There was no formal agreement with CBS Squared that included submitting the application for the Clean Water Fund on the village’s behalf, plus there were additional hours put in on the stream bank stabilization project because the project was delayed for a year, she said.
The amendment is to add up to $6,000 on the agreement with CBS Squared, and the company is over the previously agreed-upon amount right now by $4,900, Niggemann said.
The motion to amend the agreement with CBS Squared by $6,000 was approved on a vote of five “yes” to one “no.”
Voting in favor of the motion were Village President Jeff Prince and Village Trustees Clinton Best, Margaret Burcham, Anne Jenson and Gary Stene.
Voting against the motion was Village Trustee Carey Davis.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initially estimated the cost for the project at $1.6 million.
The Village of Colfax applied for and received a Community Development Block Grant that allowed borrowing up to $1 million on a two-to-one match. The Army Corps of Engineer also was able to donate funds toward the project so that the village’s actual cost was about $40,000.
The bids that came in for the stream bank stabilization project were $2.8 million, leaving the village in the position of borrowing the additional money.
The Clean Water Fund Loan does include the possibility of some loan forgiveness, up to 50 percent, but the village will not know if Colfax has been approved for the loan and any loan forgiveness until sometime next year.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a training request for Lynn Niggemann, Sheila Riemer, Lisa Bragg-Hurlburt, Bill Anderson and Ryan Strzok for a blood borne pathogen refresher May 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Boyceville.
• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Shelby Wilson from May 8 to June 30 (Express Mart).
• Approved a domesticated chicken license for John and Alycia Dickinsen, 605 Iverson Road, from May 8 to June 30.
• Approved resolutions 2023-02 and 2023-03 to 2023-12, authorization of signers on the accounts at Bremer Bank and Dairy State Bank, to include Jeff Prince as village president, Anne Jenson, village trustee, and Niggemann.
• Approved purchasing two Badgerbooks, which are electronic poll books, in the amount of $2,180 each, with Dunn County providing a grant of $2,000 toward the Badger Books.
• Approved a proclamation declaring the week of May 21 to May 27 as Emergency Medical Services week.