Public Works Committee report
- The committee unanimously approved the request for the use of HarborPark by Wisconsin Marathon, LLC, on May 5, 2012. Johnathan Cain and Dennis DuChene were present and spoke on behalf of the marathon. Cain stated that they are expecting a sell-out this year; he estimated 4,000 people would be signed up with about 3,600 actually participating in the race. Last year, there were approximately 1,500 participants.
DuChene stated that this has been a great event for the past four years. “It’s good to bring people into the community,” he said. “Operational staff and the Public Works Department has been helpful in closing the street. Parks has helped us with setting up and tearing down. We pay for the city services. They’re reimbursed by the marathon.” He encouraged approval. Alderperson Jan Michalski also supported the race. “It’s a kick for most residents down by the lake. They put up their lawn chairs and watch the runners go by. It brings a lot of people in. It showcases our city and the lakefront in a positive way. I have no objections. It’s a win, win, win, all down the line. There’s no valid reason not to approve it.”
- Also approved was the award of the contract for Project #10-1415, Lake Front Water Feature (5501 Ring Road), to Camosy Construction in the amount of $275,000. This had been deferred from the last meeting. Mike Lemens, director of public works, recommended approval. “It’s been in our plans for a number of years. We’re anxious to begin work. It was our intent to have the water front feature completed prior to the July 4th weekend. We’re ready to begin construction.” Shelley Billingsley, director of engineering, distributed copies of the plans to the committee members. She explained that the larger circular area is the main splash pad. The fountain will contain a smaller splash pad for toddler-age children. The beaver animals will be moved. At the last meeting, Chairman G. John Ruffolo had talked about the possibility of transferring money from this project to instead repair the fountain in front of the museum. He stated yesterday that he talked to the mayor about this, and the mayor said no.
- The committee approved the lease between the city of Kenosha and GNC Hook, LLC (Art Bar) for the parcel located at 22nd Avenue and 53rd Street. This was also deferred from the last meeting because the lessee was not present. The petitioner, Chris Berger, was present at this meeting, and Bill Richardson from the city attorney’s office was also present. Berger stated that the 13 parking spots would be used for his patrons’ parking. This lease will pave the way for smoother dealings with the Italian American Club and will also make it clear to the neighbors that this lot is for Art Bar patrons. Ruffolo was concerned with the 25-year lease, but Richardson assured him that if the bar were no longer there, the lease could be assigned to another bar/entity. He stated that “there was a six-month term included in the lease for the city’s option to terminate the lease. There is nothing to prohibit the city from terminating the lease. We are not tied in with 25 years.” The lease obligates Berger to maintain the lot and gives him the right to use it. Alderperson Patrick Juliana stated that he and Alderperson Anthony Nudo had worked up a lease agreement identical to this one for the Italian American Club, and they have had no problems with it. “They are responsible for 100% maintenance and clean-up,” he said. He urged passage.
- The first amendment to the developers’ agreement and memorandum of full satisfaction between the city of Kenosha, Kenosha Water Utility, First Industrial Investments II, LLC, and Affiliated Foods Midwest Cooperative, Inc. was deferred for two weeks, as well as the bicycle and pedestrian easement agreement by and between Affiliated Foods Midwest Cooperative, Inc., and the city of Kenosha for property at 8100 – 60th Street (Affiliated Foods).
- The request for use of HarborPark by the Downtown Kiwanis Club on June 22 and 23, 2012, for an event titled Blooming Bands, was also unanimously approved. Ron Bursek, former public works director, spoke on behalf of this organization and its event. “All of the money raised comes back to the community in the form of scholarships and youth programs. Last year, we gave $15,000 to the Boys and Girls Club. All labor is donated,” he said. “The emphasis will be on music. All of the music is being donated by Kenosha bands and musicians. It’s an event for our youth and children. It’s just fun, food, and music.” Ruffolo asked about handicapped parking and urged Bursek to work with staff on it. Nudo asked how they planned to make money at the event, and the answer given was by selling food and adult beverages. There will be no admission charge. The Club also plans on requesting the use of city equipment from the Parks Commission. Nudo also reminded Bursek that a special license will be needed to serve alcohol.
The committee also approved the sidewalk rates for 2012. Lemens stated that this was an annual request. This represented the bid results from the current contract and a modest fee for administration. “The prices are down from last year,” he said. “We got some very competitive bids, and I recommend approval. Removing and replacing sidewalk square costs are up, and new sidewalk square costs are down.” Juliana said that that made sense, “because for new squares, you’re paying for grading and forming, and for others, you have to bust out, haul away, grade and form.”
- The preliminary report/final resolution for Project # 12-1208, Sidewalk & Curb/Gutter Program (for citywide locations), was also unanimously approved. Two women were present with their letters from the city regarding sidewalk repair. Wendy Orr received a notice to replace two squares, and she expressed her concern about a silver maple tree in the parkway with overgrown roots. She brought pictures with her. She stated that she felt that the tree should be removed before the sidewalk repair was completed. Cathy Broverty also received a letter stating that five squares needed replacement. She also brought pictures with her. She stated that she felt that the squares were not in need of repair. Dean Madden, the city’s sidewalk inspector, was present, and he addressed each of the ladies’ situations individually out in the hallway.
- The committee awarded the contract for Project #12-1208, Sidewalk & Curb/Gutter Program (for citywide locations) to A.W. Oakes & Son (Racine, Wisconsin), in the amount of $575,000. Ruffolo wanted to know if Oakes farmed out or subbed out their work, and Lemens said no. “Their sidewalk crew worked efficiently and kept us informed of their whereabouts at all times,” Lemens said. “They are one of the better contractors we’ve worked in recent years.” The Storm Water Utility Committee also approved this item at their meeting which immediately followed the conclusion of this meeting.
- Alderperson Ray Misner petitioned the committee to subname a portion of 85th Street from 22nd Avenue to 30th Avenue as “Alderman Chuck Bradley Drive.” He spoke on the petition. “Alderman Bradley has served the city for eighteen plus years, counting his current appointment. I wanted to bring this up a few years ago, but felt that it seemed political at the time. Now, that I’m on my way out the door, I felt it was a good time. He deserves the honor and recognition. He served Tremper High School as a teacher and a coach. I urge your support.” Juliana mentioned the ordinance that was passed not too long ago on this subject. “The city needs to request this. It needs to be made by the City Council, not by petition. If it comes forward as is, that would be setting bad precedent.” The petition was approved, pending a decision from the city attorney’s office.
- Misner also petitioned the committee to subname Lincoln Road from 22nd Avenue to 80th Street as “Alfred and Josephine Capelli Boulevard.” Misner’s comments were: “There is history up and down the entire stretch of Lincoln Road. The Capelli house is on the Snap On end, plus at the other end, the 22nd end. Plus, there is the doctor’s office which used to be a store. Plus, they own 20% of Lincoln Road.” Misner said that the committee could pick which end would be subnamed.
- The intergovernmental agreement jurisdictional transfer of roadways between the county of Kenosha and the city of Kenosha, for sequentially improved segments of County Trunk Highways K and G and the intersection of County Trunk Highway L and 39th Avenue, was also approved unanimously. Ruffolo stated that earlier in the morning, he, Lemens, the 17th district alderperson, David Bogdala, the mayor, the county executive, and the county board supervisor of the 4th district, had reviewed the agreement. Mayor Keith Bosman and County Executive Jim Kreuser then signed the agreement. To read more about this issue, click here: Mayor and County Executive Announce Plan for Transferring Highways.
Informational items included:
- Lincoln Road Paving. Lemens displayed a proposed roundabout board. He stated that ten or eleven years ago, a resident citizen had written a letter about the 79th Street and 26th Avenue intersection, asking that when Lincoln Road ever gets rebuilt, that exploration of a different solution be undertaken. He found this old letter and, coincidentally, received another letter from another different resident. “This is a monster intersection,” he said. “The accident history is low. Traffic volumes are low. There is so much room there, that there is the potential to avoid other cars.” The proposal was to add eight lights to the intersection. All curbs and gutters could remain. “This will eliminate a lot of speeding through there,” he continued. He was looking to the committee for some direction. Michalski wanted to know what the difference in cost was between adding a roundabout and paving. Billingsley said that it was $100,000 more. The roundabout would calm the traffic and keep it moving along. “It is something to consider,” he said. Juliana stated that “even though the cost is higher initially, over the long term, the cost is lower than a controlled four-way intersection. The durability of the intersection is enhanced.” Juliana and Bostrom agreed. Lemens stated that alternate traffic impacts the safety of the intersection. Ruffolo said that “the community likes the idea of roundabouts.” The committee gave their go ahead to pursue it.
- An update from Alderman Jan Michalski on the March 22nd City Plan Commission meeting. Almost all of the items had to do with sign permits from Adams Outdoor. One through six got approved, but the commission did not approve the sixth request as Adams had requested. The 40-foot height was lowered to 35 feet. The other item had to do with a conditional use permit for Parkside Manor, which also was approved. To read more details about that meeting, click here: Seven Sign Permits Approved.
Michalski gave Lemens a news article that he received from one of his constituents dealing with the ash borer tree problem. Apparently, in Gurnee, they have found a cost-effective way to treat the problem chemically, and not cut the trees down. Lemens said that he would get with Dirk Nelson and, if it’s found to be feasible, he would direct him to do it.
Ruffolo mentioned the issue of flags in parkways. There was another request on the Public Safety & Welfare Committee agenda recently. He’s not sure if that really belongs on the Public Works agenda, and he stated that he’s not sure if it’s a good or a bad policy. “We can’t dictate what the flag says,” he said. Juliana brought up first amendment rights. Then Juliana made a suggestion that all of the committees involved in such issues all meet at one time to make the approval process go more efficiently and smoothly once it gets to the Common Council floor. “We are the engines, the work horses of the Common Council,” he stated. “It doesn’t make sense that it gets approved at one committee, then on the council floor, it gets kicked back to another committee.”