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Roberts prepping for Good Neighbor Days

With Good Neighbor Days around the corner, the Village of Roberts Board meeting on Monday, May 9, focused on crossing off things on its to-do list.

Police Chief Dan Burgess said that last year they had problems with vehicles being parked in the area of the car show.

"We need to get signage in place and not hinder bar traffic but have to get the cars out of the way in the morning," he said.

In the event that cars are left in the morning, Burgess said that a tow truck has volunteered to move the vehicles at no charge.

John Bond, public works director, said that his department is working with the St. Croix County Highway Department to get the road re-coated before Good Neighbor Days.

He also asked the board if they wanted to pay $1,500 to repaint the yellow safety zones, crosswalks, etc. as they normally do for Good Neighbor Days, despite the fact that the lines are still visible from last year.

"Functionally, the lines are doing their job, but I know budgets are tight and we are looking at areas where we are trying to save," said Bond.

"I say paint it," commented Nathan Stork, board member. "It's not intrusive, but it makes the community look sharper."

The board agreed to the paint job.

The Department of Natural Resources has established a new cross connection code to protect public water use. Bond said that commercial sites have to be inspected every two years and residential sites every 10 years.

"We'd be looking at laundry sinks, hose bibs at residential areas," said Bond. "At commercial places we'd look at toilet fixtures, pop machines tied to water systems; those are difficult to do inspections."

He said that the public works committee is looking into hiring a company to do the inspections and have Bond go "ride shotgun" to learn how to do the commercial inspections for future use.

The Compliance Maintenance Annual Report for 2010 showed that the wastewater treatment plant for Roberts scored a 3.89 on a scale of 4. The only issues were that the revenue coming in does not meet expenses.

Bond reported another issue: copper has been showing up in the water with no indication of the source. Certain amounts of copper require a special permit, and Bond said that the copper spikes have no rhyme or reason in their occurances.

"We have been going to every business that has the potential to use copper -- printing inks, insecticides -- and looked through their material safety data sheets. Don't list copper," said Bond. "We're grabbing at straws. I don't have an answer."

Angi Goodwin, village engineer, said that the village had received eight bids for the Division Street project. Of those, the top three were A-1 Excavating Inc, of Bloomer, for a total cost of $557,463.53; RM Schlosser Excavating, of Durand, for a total cost of $580,480.78; and Albrightson Excavating, of Woodville, for a total cost of $592,908.41.

"We are roughly $90,000 under our budget so it will be nice to have some extra money in there for potential change orders," said Goodwin.

The project will include pulverizing and relaying the asphalt pavement from Ash Street to Tower Street and providing crushed concrete base instead of a gravel base course.

The board decided to award A-1 Excavating the project. Goodwin said they plan to start after Good Neighbor Days and finish up in mid-August before school begins.

In other news:

• Burgess said that his department is working on applying for several grants this year -- one of which is for getting equipment for the interviewing room.

• The planning commission told the board that they would need to revisit the swimming pool ordinance setback requirements. A resident wanted to put in a pool by their trailer, but there isn't enough room to meet the stipulated setbacks. It was suggested to possibly emulate Woodville by having an ordinance that required temporary pools to get a $10 permit.

• Both village sirens are up and running. The new siren is running on batteries right now but will be hooked up soon.

• Bond reported that the motor has burned out in one of the village wells. It had been running 24-hours a day since 2006. It will be repaired, but the surrounding communities are on alert should a fire happen in Roberts and only one well is available.

• The library board reported that the library expanded its hours to include Saturdays 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.