Fourth Street, Villa boat landing project start in July

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By Correne Martin

St. Feriole Island may have just emerged from under water, but the Prairie du Chien Common Council is talking about the city’s planned construction there, beginning in July. 

Fourth Street in front of the Memorial Gardens, will be reconditioned, with work slated to start July 29, right after the Prairie Dog Blues Festival. The job is expected to be complete by Sept. 4, city officials said at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

Additionally, the Villa Louis Boat Landing project will start along Water Street and the historic site property July 8. Its completion is also targeted for Sept. 4.

According to City Administrator Chad Abram, Main Street sustained some damage, near the Cedar Street intersection, due to this spring’s flood. The city street department estimates it will take two to three weeks to schedule the work and finish repairs at that location.

Petition to vacate fails

A resolution to vacate the alley in block 21 of the city’s Parish addition—by the old nursing home—failed to pass the common council’s vote. Alderpersons Todd Myers, Allie Thornton, Karen Solomon and Nate Bremmer voted against the resolution after hearing from one concerned citizen. She questioned what the advantage to vacating it was and disagreed with action due to additional taxes she would pay for the additional land.

Vacating a street right-of-way removes the public’s interest and returns control of the land to the underlying owner, most often the adjacent property owners.

Mayor Dave Hemmer said a petition to vacate the alley was created and signed by all neighbors interested in the additional land, except one neighbor. However, after the council heard the resident speak, even though Alderpersons Nate Gilberts, Kelssi Copus and Russ Wittrig were in favor of vacating it, a vote of 4-3 denied any action. 

South Prairie Street 

Another resolution for vacating part of a street was considered at its initial stage Tuesday night. Because the owner who purchased the former Satter Building property wishes to clean up and abut his land, the council was asked to move forward with possibly vacating the south 40 feet of South Prairie Street. Upon council approval, a public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.

2018 city audit

The 2018 audit for the city was presented by Johnson and Block’s Brent Nelson, who has spoken before the council before. After a detailed presentation, he summarized that the city had a budget surplus of $119,000 for 2018. Though there was no discussion for allocating those funds, they will be rolled into the general fund for 2019. 

Nelson also said net new construction showed an increase. Both the water and sewer utilities are in healthy positions financially, and the city has 37 percent of its debt capacity remaining currently. The biggest expenditures in 2018 were, of course, the public library, Marquette Road and Michigan Street construction projects.

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