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Waterloo addresses streets, sidewalks

January 5, 2019

WATERLOO -- A public hearing regarding consideration of a sidewalk special assessment for the streets and utilities reconstruction of Edison and Franklin streets was held prior to Thursday’s regular Waterloo Common Council meeting.

Mitch Leisses of Kunkel Engineering Group outlined the potential streets and utilities reconstruction project and a possible sidewalk special assessment during the public hearing that was attended by more than 20 Waterloo residents.

“The purpose of this public hearing is twofold. One is to give you guys a little bit of a background on the project and then also for you to have a chance to discuss the letter that was sent out regarding the special assessment,” Leisses said.

Properties that would be included in the possible sidewalk special assessment would be assessed per square foot of a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk. The costs would include engineering services, installation of base course material, sidewalk, landscape restoration and construction inspection.

The project would include a complete reconstruction of Edison Street from the south end of Edison to Porter streets and one block of Franklin Street between Edison and Monroe streets.

“That reconstruct would (include) redoing the sanitary sewer, the water (and) the storm sewer. All of the sanitary laterals and water services will be replaced to the property lines just beyond the backside of the sidewalk,” Leisses said.

The reconstruction project would also include the removal of all trees on Edison Street, because they are pushing up the curbs and sidewalks.

“By removing those trees, changing the grade and redoing the sidewalk, we’re able to transition that slope between the sidewalk to the street, as well, and try to get positive drainage from the sidewalk to the street so you don’t have any issues with ice building up on the sidewalk and so forth,” Leisses said.

Waterloo residents expressed their concerns with the sidewalk reconstruction because the sidewalks along the entire east side of Edison Street were replaced in 2007.

Leisses explained that all the sidewalks would need to be replaced, because trees must be removed, there are areas where the existing sidewalks are buckling and lateral replacements are needed. The removal and replacement of the sidewalks is also more feasible because it can be done by machine as opposed to being done by hand.

“We are looking at bidding this job out soon. Our hope is that it’s a job that’s ‘first out of the box’ for some of these contractors so there might be a start date sometime in March, probably April. We’re looking at trying to have a final completion at the end of September,” Leisses said.

Waterloo residents also expressed their concerns with the possible sidewalk special assessment and how they would be expected to pay for it.

In the past, residents were given the option of a one-time payment or a payment plan that would include an interest payment.

“A couple of things you need to be aware of, tonight’s meeting is not to make a decision. We’re not deciding tonight whether or not we’re doing a special assessment, this is just to get feedback from everybody. We don’t even know if we’ll need a special assessment yet. We haven’t gotten a price back and we haven’t gotten bids,” Mayor Robert Thompson said prior to the conclusion of the public hearing.

A brief regular council meeting was held after the public hearing and the council:

-- Tabled the Dec. 20, 2018, regular meeting minutes.

-- Approved allowing Thompson to retain his iPad after his mayoral term ends this spring.

-- Approved an operator’s license for the period ending June 30, 2019, to Jennifer Blank.

-- Approved the mayoral appointment of Shawn Vieth to the Waterloo Parks Commission. Vieth will fill the unexpired term that will end in 2020.

-- Tabled a resolution declaring the intent to levy special assessments under police power pursuant to Wisconsin statutes.

All council members were present and the next regular council meeting is Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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