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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Sets 5-Year Plan For Street Improvements

Issue Date: August 8, 2019

Road improvement projects to be done as part of the City of Peshtigo's 5-year Capital Improvement Plan and updating the Public Works Department's 5-year capital outlay for equipment plan approved by the City of Peshtigo's Streets and Drainage Committee at its meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1.

Public Works Director George Cowell said because the city can afford to redo only 2.5 percent of its road miles each year, they are on a 40-year rotation schedule. Ideally, they should be on a 20-year rotation.

As approved in the updated plan, one block of West Rail Road Street from Emery Avenue to the alley to the east is scheduled for water and sewer work plus repaving with asphalt in 2020, at a cost of $35,000.

Then, in 2021, West Park Drive is to be redone at a total cost of $250,000. Stephenson Street from Maple to Pine is due for $88,000 of work in 2022 and in the same year Oak Street from Beebe to Noquebay is scheduled for $40,000 of improvements, and Cranberry Ave. from Birch to Maple is on the list for improvements costing $88,000 in 2023.

The next major project planned is resurfacing of Emery Ave. from French Street to NW Front Street to be done in 2024 for an estimated $130,000.

Cowell said these proposed projects may have related water and sewer work needs which would add to the total price but have not been figured into the overall project cost.

Capital Outlay for equipment in 2019 include a possible automated arm garbage truck estimate to cost $263,000. The truck it would replace is 22 years old. To go with the automated truck the city would need garbage carts at an estimated cost of $80,000.

Priority three is a chipper, estimated to cost $220,000 to $230,000.

A rear packer garbage truck is listed as priority four at an estimated cost of $220,000 to $230,000.

Priority five is purchase of a jet vacuum truck at $410,000, to replace the 31-year-old sewer jet truck.

Cowell explained the jet truck is a wastewater item used to open clogged sewers, but it also is used by the Public Works Department to open clogged storm sewers. "It needs to be replaced and I don't know if wastewater can deal with it," Cowell commented.

The priority list was approved, but decision on which type replacement garage truck will be purchased has not yet been made. A special committee meeting to discuss that issue, hopefully with much public input, is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29.

There are 65 and 90 gallon garbage carts on display in the Municipal Building for people to look at. Malke said she wants to be sure to get public input before Council makes a decision.

In addition to having the carts on display Malke was hopeful they could get a distributor to bring one of the automated trucks for demonstration at the Aug. 29 meeting.

She has contacted 10 communities that have gone to automated collection trucks and is trying for a total of 25 comments on pros and cons before Peshtigo must make its decision. She said one of the responding communities said they cannot do their automated pickup with one person, they still need two.

Malke also asked about pickup of leaves, couches, etc. and Cowell said they will need to keep a rear loader truck for items like these, and also as backup for the new truck. He said for the last several years they have been able to pick up all the leaves with the street sweeper.

Malke commented the City of Milwaukee uses its larger version rear-load garbage truck as a backup vehicle for snow plowing. She said an advantage of the automated truck is they can do the route with one person instead of three, but an even larger issue is that the regular type of pickup involves a far larger risk of on-the-job back injuries.

Cowell said if the decision is to stay with rear load garbage trucks they will need to buy one now and another in a few years.

After considerable discussion the committee recommended denying a variance requested by Jamie Villas to have a driveway without a culvert on the Lake Court cul de sac. However, at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 7 Pete Villas asked that the issue be returned to committee, and Alderman John Berendt, as committee chair, agreed, so it will come up again at the committee's next regular meeting.

City officials present for the Aug. 1 committee meeting were Berendt, Alderman Mike Behnke, Mayor Cathi Malke, Clerk/Treasurer Tammy Kasal and Public Works Director George Cowell. Alderman Brigitte Schmidt, the third committee member, was absent.

There also was much discussion on the possibility of finding a new spot for garbage from The Peshtigo Cafe to be placed for pickup by the city crew. It is currently set out on the corner of French Street by the stoplights on Sunday afternoons for Monday morning pickup. Malke said she understands that they must put it there now, but wondered if there was something else that could be done. She was concerned about the appearance of refuse on the busiest corner in the city and the dirty stains it had caused on the sidewalk there.

Cowell asked Malke and the committee to let him try cleaning up the stains first, before taking further action. There also was brief discussion about the possibility that the city will be going to an automated garbage pickup system, which could make difference there. He said he will talk to his garbage collection people and ask them to be sure the replace the cans upright after they are emptied, not upside down. To a suggestion from Malke that the workers could go farther onto the restaurant property for the trash, Cowell said that would require a change in the city ordinance. After more talk about alternatives, Berendt and Behnke agreed to let Cowell try cleaning it the stained sidewalk area before taking any other action.


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841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
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