The village of Iola has moved a step forward in the Town Line Road project. An agreement with Martenson & Eisele for professional services for the project was approved by the village board at its Dec. 13 meeting.
The Menasha-based engineering company will begin the design in January 2011 and follow the project through to completion by December 2011. Compensation will be $24,755 for the bridge reconstruction and $32,750 for the roadway reconstruction.
The bridge is still considered a culvert, according to David D. Eisele of Martenson & Eisele. Therefore no federal grants are available to help fund the structure’s replacement, he explained. Of course, this could all change after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources takes a look at the river crossing.
“The DNR may force us to go out wider (north and south), and then it will be a bridge,” Eisele explained.
A member of the audience asked if the bridge really needed replacing. “It’s deteriorating,” stated Don Loken, chairman of the Public Property and Streets Committee. He also noted that fire engines and school buses currently have limited access on Town Line Road.
In other business, the board set its annual caucus for 5:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10. Up for re-election in the spring election are the trustee positions held by Leland Johnson, Betty Finch and Jim Rasmussen, and the village president position currently held by Joel Edler. All four board members expressed interest in seeking re-election.
Other action taken by the board included authorizing a soil test not to exceed $3,200 on the village property being sold to Trebs 24 Hour Towing. A preliminary review of the property revealed that an underground tank had been removed from the property.
The tank and the removal site had been visually inspected, but there was no soil testing, which raises a question of potential environmental concerns. Although all tank removal procedures were followed, the new owner needs to meet certain testing requirements to procure a loan.
The board also discussed a request to help fund an upgrade to the tennis courts located near the F+W Media building. The tennis court area is currently owned by the Iola Old Car Show Inc. It’s not a village park, Edler noted, but improving the courts would benefit the community. The Parks Committee reported it had considered the request but there were no available funds in the parks budget.
The board will hold a public hearing during its March 14 regularly scheduled meeting. The hearing will allow public comments on the board’s desire to amend village ordinances to provide for certain exceptions for placement of historical markers. Currently, signs cannot be placed within 3 feet of the sidewalk.
Edler noted that Iola now has three local historical markers – Father’s Day Fire, Birthplace of Numismatic News, and 100 Years of Ski Jumping – and one state historical marker at Iola Mills. The Iola Historical Society plans to set at least four more markers within the village – at the site of the original Wipf houses, by Vidar of Iola, and at Chet Krause’s office building. IHS eventually plans to host walking tours to showcase historical sites, so it is important to place future markers close to sidewalks.