Spring Street grants in question
New jobs must be created to receive funding
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville had hoped grants would pay for half of the estimated $460,000 needed to fix the flooding issues on Spring Street in the industrial park.
Those grant funds may not be available to the city.
Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell informed the Clintonville City Council at its June 14 meeting that the preliminary engineering design for a solution to the problem has been completed. He also said the city is in the process of evaluating the Community Development Block Grant Program to fund part of the project.
“There are a couple of things with that that are not real well for the city at this time,” Kell said.
Kell said one of the programs the city was going to apply under was based on the income of the community, because Clintonville does qualify as a low to moderate income city.
“The staff at the state is not very supportive of this project because it’s not in a residential neighborhood,” Kell said. “That program wants their money to basically improve the living conditions for low to moderate income neighborhoods. Since we are proposing this project to correct a situation in an industrial park they don’t feel this has enough direct impact for the low and moderate income people in the city. They have pretty much advised us not to apply under that program because they don’t think we will rank out well and it will probably be a waste of time.”
The other program the city was going to apply under is the Economic Development Program. There is no deadline to apply for this program, Kell said.
Kell said he held a meeting with the city’s consultants, as well as representatives from Walker Forge and Creative Converting on June 1 to discuss the program.
“The issue that we’re going to face there is that there needs to be 10 to 15 new full time job positions created in order to get a grant for $250,000 toward this half million dollar project,” Kell said.
Based on conversations with business representatives, Kell said he doesn’t think that that many jobs will be created.
Kell told the council that the problem on Spring Street still needs to be fixed.
“It may all fall on the city’s hands to address it,” Kell said. “Then you’ll have to decide if you want to do it strictly through the budget or if you are going to want participation from those companies in terms of assessments.”
Pigeon River Dam
Kell informed the council that Ayres Associates, the engineering firm hired by the city to perform the engineering for the dam, did its evaluation of the dam on June 1. He said the high water this spring is creating some problems in seeing everything associated with the dam.
Ayres will probably have to perform another evaluation in August or September, hopefully when the water levels are down, Kell said.
“We want to make sure that if there are issues with the spillway itself that those get addressed as part of this rehab project,” he said.
Kell said Ayres is scheduled to attend the Street Committee meeting in July to present its initial findings, and cost estimates. The board of the Pigeon River Lake Rehabilitation District will also be invited to this meeting.
“Unless we see that there’s a real big problem that has to be addressed immediately this is more on a course of work being done in 2018, once we can get the DNR grant,” Kell said.
9th Street sidewalk
The city continues to be in contact with the property owners impacted by the sidewalk situation on 9th Street.
City Attorney Keith Steckbauer told the council he spoke with the attorney for one of the property owners, who had requested a two month extension. After conferring with Kell, Steckbauer said he told that attorney the council needs to discuss a solution at the July council meeting.
“It is my understanding they were struggling to find somebody that was willing to give their blessing as to say this is the proper fix,” Steckbauer said.
Kell told the council he feels the issue needs to be resolved before winter.
“We need to keep it moving,” Kell said. “They’ve had five weeks already since the original notice of this.”
The development project proposed for Greentree Road and County Highway D is still active.
“I talked to one of the developers last week and they are still working on their design ideas,” Kell said.
Kell said based on that, he has kept the project in the capital improvements program.
11th Street buildings
Kell informed the council that the city attorney has been working on an agreement regarding the buildings on 11th Street that the city has issued raze orders for. The county is involved in this process because there are outstanding tax payments and liens on the property.
“We’re ready to move forward but there are a number of these legal things that are holding up the transfer of the property from the property owners to the city,” Kell said.
Steckbauer added that one of the properties has judgments against it, mostly by Waupaca County. He said ThedaCare also has a judgment of around $1,700. He said he hopes to work with ThedaCare regarding that judgment.
“Hopefully they would be good community citizens and work with us,” Steckbauer said.
The council unanimously approved spending $9,700 for a design services proposal from Water Technologies Inc. The proposal will include three plans, with one of them being the renovation of the current municipal swimming pool facility. The funds will come from federal money that has been in the city’s bank account for about 20 years.
The council unanimously approved a special assessment of $2,250 for property owners who have sewer laterals in the Maize Street reconstruction project.