Traffic lights coming back
Pilot four-way stops to end on Main Street
By Angie Landsverk
Two downtown Waupaca intersections will return to being controlled by traffic signals on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The intersections at Main and Fulton streets and Main and Badger streets have been four-way stops since May 29.
It was part of a pilot study that also included removing the right turn lanes from Fulton Street onto Main Street and from Badger Street onto Main Street.
A traffic study concluded there is no need for the right-turn lanes.
Four blocks of Main Street – from Badger to Water streets – are scheduled to be reconstructed in 2021.
The city did the pilot study in anticipation of that project.
It was the second time the study took place.
The first pilot project at the two intersections was over the course of about six weeks last October and November.
A survey related to the pilot signals may be found at www.cityofwaupaca.org/downtown2021.
Justin Berrens, the city’s director of public works, said the survey is expected to be available online through Friday, Aug. 31.
He said the survey results and staff observations will then be analyzed before staff presents a recommendation for the two intersections to the common council.
He also said a public meeting about the Main Street project is being planned for early October.
During the council’s Aug. 21 meeting, Berrens also noted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will install a signal at the U.S. Highway 10 westbound off ramp on Fulton Street.
Work will begin after Labor Day and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, he said.
There will be no cost to the city.
Go Riteway Transportation Group plans to build a bus maintenance garage and office in the city.
The common council voted 7-0 on Aug. 21, to accept Go Riteway Transportation Group’s offer to purchase about five acres of land from the city for $65,000.
Paul Hagen, Eric Olson and Mary Phair were absent.
The property is on Godfrey Drive, adjacent to Spirit Implements.
The Waupaca School District is contracting with Go Riteway for its bus transportation services.
Brennan Kane, the city’s director of community and economic development, said Go Riteway is looking for a permanent location for its bus facility.
It is using the school district’s existing bus garage this school year.
“They are looking to start construction this year,” Kane said. “They need the facility up and operating in July of next year.”
The property is in the city’s Tax Incremental Financing District No. 3.
That means funds generated from the sale of the property will go toward paying off the district’s existing debt.
The city typically lists its business park property at $30,000 per acre.
Since Go Riteway is not seeking a developer’s agreement with the city, staff recommended reducing the cost of the front three acres to $15,000 per acre and then the other two acres to $10,000 per acre.
A certified survey map for the project is being prepared and will be presented to the city’s Plan Commission in September and then go before the common council.
The Plan Commission is expected to review the site plan in October.
Go Riteway hopes construction may begin in late October or early November.
Some wonder what is being planned with a house in the 700 block of Demarest Street.
They brought up their concerns during the public input portion of last week’s council meeting.
The closing on the property was set for Aug. 22.
This home is in a neighborhood that already has two group homes within a block radius, one person said.
The group homes are for developmentally disabled women.
While the resident said she has no complaints about the homes, she wondered why information about these homes was not disclosed when she and her husband recently bought their home.
She asked how they can learn what is planned with the latest property sold in their neighborhood, with her husband noting they believe it will be an alcohol and drug rehab facility.
Her husband also questioned what impact the homes have on their property’s value.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of it,” Mayor Brian Smith said in regard to their questions about the latest property sold in their neighborhood.
Another resident asked why there were no public hearings prior to the existing group homes opening.
Kane said when group homes meet state standards, those opening them are not required to notify the neighbors.
He said this issue has come up in the past here, as well as in the community where he previously worked.
The mayor told the residents city staff would discuss it and get back to them.