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Rushford Village reviews project, staffing options

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

Getting the Tuff Lane Project underway may finally be drawing near for Rushford Village. Deemed deficient by the county, the city is mandated to remedy the lane bridge, which currently has insufficient tonnage limits. In June project engineer Brian Malm of Bolton & Men, Inc. brought forth recommendations for the project.

Having undergone further review, the city has been presented with two options for replacing the bridge with box culverts. Currently, the bridge, roughly 15 feet by 3 feet in dimension, typically has 225 cubic feet of water flow per second when full and 325 cubic feet per second just prior to overtopping during flooding. The bridge frequently tops the bridge during flooding periods, as the area sits on a large watershed of 1,700-2,500 acres.

Option one includes a single 16 foot by 6 foot box culvert offering 410 cubic feet per second, a 26 percent increase in flow, at a materials cost of $36,965. Option two consists of two 10 foot by 6 foot box culverts offering 525 cubic feet per second, a 62 percent increase. The price tag on option two rings in at a substantially higher $53,488. Neither option will meet the threshold for a five year flood event of 528 cubic feet per second (based on flows from the watershed upstream). However, the improvements will make the crossing sufficient.

Materials, installation, and engineering on the project could reach an anticipated $100,000. “It doesn’t make sense, but what do you do?” asked Mayor Johnson. Replacement construction costs for the project are estimated at $60,000-$80,000 and costs for engineering and permitting are estimated at $15,000-$20,000. Funds are available for the projects in the city’s Road and Bridge Fund.

In other news, the city is facing staffing changes as city Public Works/Maintenance Director Bob Thieret has given the city notice of retirement and has offered the city two scenarios. In one, he would continue to work part-time until the city can acquire the proper water and sewer licensure through other personnel. His other choice is to retire fully, likely as of January 1, 2015.

The city currently employs one, part-time public works/maintenance member; Evan Meier. Having completed a one-year probationary period, it was noted that Meier is eligible to take testing for appropriate water licensure in October and may be eligible for a sewer license test as well. Mayor Johnson noted that Meier is aware of the process and would be considered for the position, but would be required to apply and go through the interview process.

“Keep in mind, the day we all thought was coming is not far away. Perhaps a one-man band isn’t sufficient anymore,” added Johnson citing the lack of project completion due to large workload. “The public expectations are getting greater and greater.”

It’s possible the city will have advertisements for the position out by early October. Discussion indicated the ad would be out for approximately two weeks. After that point, interviews would likely be conducted in early November, so the applicant chosen would be able to give a 30-day notice to their current employer. In the meantime, Thieret will work with staff to define and update the job description for his position.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, September 2, at 7 p.m., at the Village City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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