Where have all the wood chips gone?

Storm washouts in parks force village to tap fund for replacement
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

“Gone With the Water” might be the title of the tale about what has happened to all the wood chips in Village of Saukville parks.

That’s because the rains that deluged Saukville recently washed away the wood chips covering many of the playgrounds, especially those at Grady Park.

As a result, village Parks Superintendent Ray deBruijn put forward a request to tap into the village’s contingency fund for $6,037 to put 161 yards of wood chips on the two playgrounds in the park.

The village budgets for 100 yards of wood chips annually, which is insufficient to cover this year’s loss, deBruijn said.

The American Disabilities Act requires 12 inches of loose wood chips, deBruijn told the village Finance Committee last week.

“We currently have about six inches of compacted chips,” he said.

Committee members wondered whether adding chips could be put off until spring but deBruijn said the playgrounds are still heavily used.

“Especially the north playground (at Grady Park) because (Saukville Elementary) school is in session,” committee chairman and Village President Barb Dickmann said.

DeBruijn also told the committee that the Saukville Lions Club has agreed next year to allocate up to $5,000 to fund a sidewalk at Quade Park, which adjoins Grady Park, as its annual community service project.

It would be an S-curve sidewalk from Park street to the pavilion, which the Lions also built, and include three street lights salvaged from the steel bridge that once spanned the Milwaukee River, deBruijn said. The walkway would have the Lions Club logo stamped in the concrete at each end and in the middle.

The Finance Committee also approved a Fire Department request to replace two failing water heaters at its fire station.

Replacing the two 250-gallon water heaters with conventional tank systems would cost about $19,000, deBruijn told the committee.

But installing tankless, on-demand systems would only run the village about $10,000, he said.

The committee opted for the less expensive alternative. About half the money will come from the village contingency fund; the other $5,000 will come from a fire department emergency equipment fund.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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