Trustees agree to use parkland for staging area but refuse to eliminate section of sidewalk
Officials from the Village of Fredonia and Ozaukee County Highway Department are awaiting the final word on bidding for the Fredonia Avenue reconstruction.
However, village trustees tackled a few nagging issues last week that will affect what is certain to be the largest public works project in the community’s history.
In both cases, Trustee Don Dohrwardt initiated the discussion.
Dohrwardt took issue with Village President Chuck Lapicola’s assertion that the village should not allow contractors to use the green space behind the Fredonia Post Office as a staging area for equipment and vehicles.
After the road projects, officials have said they intend to designate the area parkland.
“I would like to avoid having the area, which is the entry to the village, become an eyesore,” Lapicola said, reiterating a stand he expressed to the Public Works Committee.
Instead of using the green space, which is now home to a municipal skating rink, he suggested contractors use sections of Marie Kraus Park and the parking area around the wastewater treatment plant to store equipment.
Dohrwardt, however, said the village could benefit financially by making it more convenient for contractors to store their materials near the construction site.
“I don’t think the savings will be inconsiderable,” he said, in advocating temporary use of the low-lying green space.
The road construction is expected to last from spring until the end of summer, and that timing concerned Trustee Jill Bertram, who worried about heavy construction traffic being directed to the vicinity of the baseball fields on the west end of Marie Kraus Park.
“I wouldn’t like to see trucks going up and down the road when kids are heading there to play baseball,” Bertram said.
Trustees approved Dohrwardt’s proposal, with Lapicola voting against the proposal.
However, trustees rejected a proposal by Dohrwardt to eliminate a section of sidewalk on the south side of Fredonia Avenue from the construction plans.
He said the 800 feet of four-foot-wide sidewalk on the far east end of the construction zone would be costly to install because of the steep bank.
Although the bids have not yet been received for the project, Dohrwardt said the sidewalk could add as much as $60,000 to the construction cost.
He said dropping the sidewalk from the plans before bids are sent out would save the village a significant amount of money.
Lapicola said the board had already decided to install sidewalks on both sides of the new road.
“I think the demand for sidewalks and the interest in being able to walk in the community is only going to increase,” he said.
Trustee Fritz Buchholtz said the sidewalk makes properties on the south side of Fredonia Avenue, including a former daycare center, more desirable.
“If someone buys that property, their options are limited without a sidewalk. You would be isolating that property,” Buchholtz said.
Dohrwardt’s motion to drop the sidewalk failed to draw a second.