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Village strives to settle tuber pickup problems

Tuber pickup issues continue for Apple River Hideaway in Somerset. Owner Mike Kapppers had proposed improving an old emergency-access-only road for use as a pickup location for Apple River Hideaway tubers but the Somerset Village Board told him that plan won't work in a village board meeting July 17.

The reason the emergency access road can't be made into a tubing pickup location is because of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation regulation. After contacting the DOT, the village board has determined that the emergency access road can be used for emergency access only.

Meanwhile, Kappers does have written permission from the village board to pick up tubers from the east side of the village park, utilizing a bus stop on Parent Street that is outlined by a village ordinance. However, many Parent Street residents have been raising complaints.

One such resident, Sandy Gordon, said she is concerned for the safety of her mentally disabled son. She said she has been unable to access her driveway and drunk tubers have used inappropriate language.

"Most people are well behaved but some of the people are not," said Gordon.

Gordon did add, however, that any problems she's mentioned to the village board or Apple River Hideaway have been quickly and effectively addressed.

Other residents complained about not being able to see around buses at intersections and being trapped in their driveways.

The village council plans to more clearly define the location of the bus stop so it's less problematic for residents.

In other business:

• The Somerset Amphitheater was given permission to extend the size of the new driveway an additional 50 feet so the driveway would come out at an angle. An amphitheater representative said this would make the driveway safer and easier for customers to navigate.

• The board approved the conditional use permit for Baillargeon Properties, relating to the parking area near the Somerset Amphitheater, putting the permit in Baillargeon's name and removing irrelevant items from the permit.

• The village board approved the purchase of a new sewer-cleaning machine to replace the current one, which is old and needs replacing.

• The board approved payment number two for the Shay Street lift station project. This brings the total payment up to 85 percent of bid amount, which means the project is on budget so far.

• The board approved painting of street lines, crosswalks and stop lines for the village roads.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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