National Guard to begin Hatfield site workWork is already beginning at Hatfield Regional Park as the city prepares for the arrival of 50 some National Guard soldiers on Sunday, June 5.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
Work is already beginning at Hatfield Regional Park as the city prepares for the arrival of 50 some National Guard soldiers on Sunday, June 5.
A tracking pad of heavy rock — which should help reduce the amount of dirt and mud tracked onto the roadway — was installed last week. Crews from K&K Earthworks are currently installing a silt fence around the lake to protect it from runoff.
About 100 members of the 229th Horizontal Engineer Company in Platteville are scheduled to do excavating work at the park over the next month. The Guard considers the work to be part of their annual training.
Dave Mehls, site manager of Hatfield Lake Regional Park, said the soldiers will arrive in two shifts and work in two week shifts.
The first unit is scheduled to arrive June 5 and will work until June 19, he said. The second group will arrive June 17 and work until July 1.
While in New Richmond, the Guard will excavate and grade 40-50 acres at the park, Mehls said.
Crews will be working seven days a week, 12 hours a day on the project. The unit provides manpower and its own equipment. The Guard’s contribution is estimated to save the city about $440,000; however, the city will need to chip in about $150,000 to pay for fuel.
That $150,000 will be split among three entities — $50,000 from the City of New Richmond, $50,000 from the Park Development Fund and $50,000 from the New Richmond Youth Sports Association, Mehls said.
The soldiers will be housed at New Richmond’s National Guard Armory while they’re in town, he said.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Youth Sports Association will serve lunches to the soldiers while they’re in town, Mehls said.
The excavating project was scheduled to be completed last year, but because of problems with Department of Natural Resources permits, the project was pushed back a year.
“I’m still holding my breath,” Mehls said with a laugh. “We first started talking about this in March 2006. I’ll believe it when they get here.”
Because heavy equipment will be using the road and the trucks will be entering and exiting the park from County Road CC, Mehls urged motorists to drive with caution when driving in the area.
In addition to the project, Mehls and other city officials have scheduled a community appreciation day for the soldiers to coincide with the one weekend that the two shifts overlap.
“They (the National Guard) call it a MWR — or morale, welfare and recreation day,” he said.
The community appreciation day, scheduled for June 18, will include a pancake breakfast from 8-11 a.m., carnival-type events and various speakers from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and an afternoon softball game. The pancake breakfast will also serve as a fundraiser for the project. Cost for the meal is $5 for adults, $3 for children and kids 3 and younger eat free.
Hatfield Lake Regional Park currently has several developed soccer fields in use on the southern edge of its boundary. The plan is to add baseball, softball and soccer fields available for use by youth and adult athletes.