Report on three committee meetings
- The Kenosha sewer service area amendment; and
- The sump pump inspection program.
Pleasant Prairie requested the modifications to the sewer service area. One parcel is between Highways Q and CJ, on the west side of U-Line; they are potentially adding a one million square-foot building. The other parcel is the Stetson piece annexed out of town, in Paris. The city finally (after a wait of two years) just received a compact letter from Madison which states that we can serve anyone in the city limits in the county as long as we do not exceed the baseline, which is thirty-four and one-half million gallons of water a day. We are now averaging fourteen million gallons a day. Therefore, Edward St. Peter, general manager of the Kenosha Water Utility, said that “we have a lot of capacity which can accommodate growth to the west of the city. This is a good thing for the future development of Kenosha.”
The sump pump inspection program process will start today. Work will be done in the spring. The mandate from the Department of Natural Resources is that it be completed before March 31st. Letters will go out to the homes in Forest Park to inform them of the upcoming inspections. The inspections are to determine if homes have legal sump pumps. Apparently, some residences try to circumvent the discharge into sanitary sewers. Chairman G. John Ruffolo requested that a hot line be created for complaints and reports, and St. Peter said that he could do that. Alderperson Anthony Nudo stated that “most people think a sewer is a sewer.” Ruffolo felt that we didn’t educate the public enough that there is a difference between storm sewers and sanitary sewers. St. Peter also stated that this could become a city-wide program at some future date.
The commission also discussed the water utility’s exhibit at the 2012 Kenosha Expo (to be held on March 10th and 11th, 2012). The water department will have two booths at the expo. One will be across from the food court, which will deal with water utility issues (sump pumps, household hazardous wastes, etc.), and the other will be located in the family activity area, which will have the “Water for the World” water conservation questions for kids to answer. Ruffolo wanted to make sure that the dye tablets for toilet tanks would be on hand. Nudo requested that we promote the “Water for Jobs” program. Two people will man the booths both days of the expo.
The Storm Water Utility Committee also met to approve the following items:
- A final report from the city administrator and the mayor on the excessive overpayment for tree trimming (this item had been deferred from the December 14, 2011 meeting). To see a more detailed report on this item, click here: Final Report From City on Tree Trimming Received.
- The professional services additional project survey with Ruekert-Mielke for the multi-plate storm sewer project plan. Shelley Billingsley stated that the final touches were being put on the report. An accurate survey was needed to determine the condition of the pipe which runs from Washington Park to the lakefront. The survey will determine if the pipe is up to grade and whether or not excavation would be needed. It will then determine the next phase of the evaluation.
An informational item which was discussed was the Fund for Lake Michigan Funding. A grant of $184,000 was approved; a check for $92,000 was received on January 31st. Ruffolo thanked the staff for their hard work in writing to obtain this grant. “We want to make sure that our water sources are clean,” he said. He also asked that a press release be drafted, and Billingsley said that she would take care of that.
Ruffolo expressed his concerns about manpower since Kevin Reich left, and Randy LaClair is retiring. “We have no public works director. Lemens is a candidate. If he gets the job, then we’d have to back fill. Am I missing anyone?” Lemens stated that there were one or two employees eligible to retire in 2012. “With all the projects in the hopper, I just wanted to make sure that we have an aggressive plan in place with time lines to replace these open positions,” said Ruffolo. Frank Pacetti, city administrator, assured Ruffolo that Human Resources is up to full speed now, and that they are moving to fill all open positions. They are now down to six open public works positions (from fifteen or sixteen). “Today, we had final interviews for the public works director. A decision should be made within a week. They identified an internal candidate to fill Reich’s job; now we’ll have to go out for a city engineer.” Lemens commented that “the musical chairs don’t ever seem to stop.” Pacetti stated that he meets with Human Resources on a weekly basis, and that they are moving as fast as they can to fill these open positions.
The third meeting was the meeting of the Public Works Committee. They met to approve the following items:
- A resolution to amend the official map for the city of Kenosha to rescind the designation of 55th Street from 47th Avenue to 49th Avenue as a future street;
- A resolution for special assessments for paving, grading and graveling, sidewalk and/or driveway approach for Project #09-1011 Paving 56th Street (64th Avenue to 68th Avenue), in the total amount of $43,590.67 to be levied against the respective parcels of property;
- Change order #1 for Project 09-1011 paving 56th Street (64th Avenue to 68th Avenue); and
- Acceptance of Project 10-1025 38th Street reconstruction – Phase IV (2000 feet east of the Kilbourn Ditch Bridge to 300 feet west of County Highway S) which has been satisfactorily completed by Stark Asphalt, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the amount of $505,623.11.
Regarding the special assessments, the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) fronted the dollars for this work. The city has an agreement with KUSD that, as the city collects the assessments, they would then reimburse KUSD.
The change order had to do with added expenses of bringing the right-of-way to grade for the sub-base. The school’s paving contractor needed to bring the pavement to sub-grade. KUSD will be paying the extra costs. Nudo’s comment was, “They’re hard up for money; they’re closing schools. Make sure we get paid.”
Informational items discussed were the 2012 Resurfacing Program Update, a City Plan Commission Update from Alderman Michalski (to read a report on this meeting, click here: Aldi’s Receives Approval for Ordinance Exception), and the Project Status Report.
Lemens shared a map of the city with the planned resurfacing work on it. The original plan was to work on 60th Avenue between 30th Avenue and 39th Avenue this year. However, due to the fact that all of the buildings of the Chrysler Engine Plant will be coming down this summer, and because 60th Street is a truck route and it will have a significant amount of truck traffic, they will hold off until 2013 on this piece of 60th Street. Streets that will be worked on this year include Lincoln Road between 22nd Avenue and 28th Avenue, and 32nd and 33rd Avenue, near the McKinley Schools.
The committee also discussed 122nd Avenue by the hotels. This work was included in the Capital Improvement Plan for 2012 construction. Staff reviewed the project with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and it was agreed to delay this construction to 2013 to be concurrent with the state project. The reasoning behind this decision was to minimize the disruption to the local businesses, which would have been two years in a row if the work was to be done this summer.