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February 1, 2023

12/23/2022 3:33:00 PM
Mineral Point makes decisions regarding High Street reconstruction project

By Levi Zimmerman
The Mineral Point City Council held a regular meeting last Tuesday night to make decisions and answer important questions regarding the High Street reconstruction project.
This followed a December 6 workshop where Council members reviewed questions that Delta 3, a Platteville engineering firm, prepared for the proposed 2023 High Street reconstruction project.
Mayor Jason Basting asked members be prepared to answer all of the checklist questions during the decision-making process Tuesday.
After call to order and the pledge of allegiance, public comment was opened.
Judy Bennett was the first to speak.
Bennett referred to one of the questions posed to the Council, which was, "Should there be no drinking fountains?"
Bennett stated, "We need the two water fountains. We need the water. Don't forget about the local residents. Children ride their bikes or walk to High Street. They buy candy at the dime store or elsewhere. They need easy access to water if they're thirsty. They shouldn't have to go inside a building that has specific business hours. Winterizing maintenance on water fountains is a minimal duty. Just ask Jim Bennett, retired supervisor for Mineral Point City Parks. I did ask him."
After public comment, Mayor Jason Basting delivered his correspondence.
Basting introduced Matt Honer, new City Administrator designee.
Honer will be replacing Bob Buckingham January 1, 2023.
"I look forward to joining the team and working with all of you," Honer said.
Mayor Basting expressed grattitude for Alderman Liz Dannenberg upon her resignation from the Council.
Basting went on to express thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and the Homan family for the Candlelight Shopping event last weekend.
Basting also congratulated the Lions Club on its 40-year anniversary.
After approving the consent agenda, the Council moved to discuss the approval of the High Street reconstruction project plans, specifications and estimates and the authorization for Delta 3 to proceed with construction bids.
Civil and construction engineer Mark Digman of Delta 3 discussed with the Council several questions regarding the project.
Here were the questions and actions of the Council:
Should a two-way street continue as before?
The recommendation by the steering committee was High Stret remain two-way, and the Council, after little discussion, voted unanimously that it remain two-way.
Should the sidewalk have a uniform color and no texture?
The Council followed the recommendation by the committee and voted for a uniform color and no texture.
Should crosswalk materials be concrete even if pavement is asphalt?
The Council adopted the committee's recommendation and voted accordingly.
Should a formal gateway be constructed on Wisconsin Street?
The steering committee's recommendation was yes, as the proposed gateway as reported to be about the length of a parking stall.
The Council voted 6-1 in favor of the gateway being installed, as member Liz Dannenberg voted no.
Should intersection nodes be installed at Chestnut and Vine streets?
The Council voted to group this item with two other questions, and they voted to follow the steering committee's recommendation, which was answers of yes to the three questions.
The other two questions are below:
Should High Street be narrowed at the Commerce Strret intersection?
Should the gateway and intersection nodes be mountable?
Should streetlights match the existing ones but have a more decorative pole bottom?
The Council voted unanimously in favor of matching the existing strretlights with a more decorative pole bottom.
Should streetlight placement be done to minimize cost?
The Council followed the recommendation of yes to this question.
Should the streetlight design be warm with the Type 5 (glowing ball) lighting pattern?
The Council voted unanimously in favor of the warm design.
Should street and wayfinding signs be decorative?
The Council voted yes.
Should signage and striping designate parking/loading zones?
The Council continued to follow the steering committee's recommendation and voted yes.
Should an EV (electric vehicle) charging station be installed seperately from this project?
The Council agreed the EV charging station needs to be a seperate project and voted accordingly.
Should there be no phone charging stations?
The steering comittee's recommendation was no, and the Council followed suit, voting unanimously in favor of no phone charging stations.
Should there be no drinking fountains?
The Council was joined by the wateer utility department, which explained the current water fountains in question haven't been in operation since 2019.
The Council discussed the idea of having one water fountain installed in Library Park.
Ultimately, the Council voted to not follow the committee's recommendation and, instead, to make the water fountain installation a seperate project.
The Council voted 6-1 with Liz Dannenberg dissenting.
Should there be no trees in greenspace grounds?
The Council voted yes to this question.
The final questions dealt with water service issues.
Should lead (mineral) water services be replaced from the curb stop to the meter by owners?
The Council voted unanimously in favor of the owners being responsible to replace lead water services from the curb stop to the meter.
Should the shallow water service be replaced inside the building by the City's contractor?
The Council answered yes and voted accordingly.
Should water services running through neighboring buildings remain unchanged and easements drafted to clear up ownership issues?
Alderman David Engels said, "I don't think we have enough information as we sit here tonight. I'm very uncomfortable with the easement issue."
As the Council discussed the issue, there was agreement that the City should provide individual water service to each individual residence or business.
The Council voted unanimously in favor of a motion reflecting that idea.
Once the questions were answered, the Council approved the authorization for Delta 3 to proceed with construction bids.
Once finalized, the specifications and plans will be received by the contractors around January 15.
Preliminary bids should open for contractors February 9.
On February 14, the Council would act and award construction bids.
Construction could, potentially, begin in March, weather permitting, and construction should be completed in one construction season.
In other new business, the Council approved a 3% cost-of-living adjustment for all non-represented employees effective January 1, 2023.
The Council also approved Police Chief Bob Weier's 2023 employment contract renewal for a term of January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023.
The Council approved an Administrative Advisor Employment Agreement with Bob Buckingham for a term of January 3, 2023 to April 30, 2023 to help smooth the transition to Honer.
As such, Honer's appointment as Zoning Administrator was also approved by the Council.

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