September 18, 2023 at 11:05 a.m.

Arena projects hits a snag

by Linda Schwanke

There is an issue between MG&E and JI Construction with the gas main, part of the sanitary sewer interceptor project, in Arena.

During excavation on the sewer, the gas main fell into the trench, trustees Brittany Carney, Kathy Stoltz, Jim Doerflinger, Kristen Shea and Melissa Bandell and village president Kate Reimann were told at their September meeting by Zach Adams, an MSA engineers representative. JI moved the main out of the way, which they are not qualified to do.

In March, JI was told by MG&E that they needed to contact them for any temporary removal and JI did not follow through with that when the main fell. MG&E sent a letter to JI and informed them that they did not have authority to touch or move the gas main and said they needed to pay to move the gas main. 

Prior to that,  in January, MSA sent project plans to MG&E with the area of work to be done marked for MG&E to review and verify. MG&E did not respond so MSA decided to work with information on the plans. An invitation was sent to MG&E for pre-construction meeting, the board was told, and no one from MG&E attended.

A meeting was the set up in March with MG&E, JI, MSA and public works director Andy Bauer. At that time, JI asked MG&E to relocate the gas main to the north side of the trench, so it would be out of the way, and they refused. They said the means and methods of digging needed to be changed. MG&E did agree, however, to move two sections of main due to the location of manholes. 

MG&E also told to JI that they were not allowed to do any work until the gas main was moved. MSA, MG&E and the village held a meeting, and MG&E was informed that they needed to work with JI and havethe main moved so the sewer main project can continue. MG&E temporarily moved the gas main on the north side a block but did not continue it to the end of the project.  

MSA received a letter from MG&E asked for a fee of $20,000 to move the gas main. According to state statue, if a public utility is in the way of a municipal project, it must be moved. MSA’s Andy Zimmer will send MG&E a letter with a copy sent to village attorney Paul Johnson.  

MSA recommended that JI seek an attorney’s advice on how to recover loss of time/money with the delay created by MG&E. 

JI provided an updated schedule on work to be done. They plan to move to Pine Street to give MG&E time to get the gas main moved. They are hopeful the mains will be completed by October 16, which is the cut off to get paving completed. JI can request a waiver past that date to get the paving done if there isn’t a freeze. They also feel it may be beneficial to wait to pave the street until next spring to give the dirt time to settle over the winter.  

On the wellhouse and well #2 project, an updated schedule was presented to the board that included plans to finish masonry/ trusses/ HVAC/ plumping/ insulation of the roof in September. In October plans are in place to complete the ceiling/ painting/ finish HVAC/ electrical. 

Work on Village Edge Road was started at the end of August. There will be access to residents on Dalogasa Drive out to Highway 14 as much as possible but not during paving or culvert replacement. Spectrum is moving their utilities off the poles, then Alliant will be removing the poles, so they are out of the way of the walking path. 

MSA checked with the funding team and there are no grants/funding available to help with the project. 

The sewer rehab final payment with change order #1 to Hydro Klean in the amount of $11,323 was approved.  Pay applications for the well house #2 in the amount of $235,607 and interceptor sewer in the amount of $132,074 were also approved. At this point, the total paid is 43 percent of the budgeted amount. 

A request for a Class “B” Beer License originally for Amarsons Inc., (Arena Food Mart) was tabled. The board will ask someone from Arena Food Mart to attend a board meeting to explain what they are planning on doing and also have a building inspectors report prior to making a decision on the application.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance (LWMMI) insurance renewal for 2023-2024 in the amount of $35,586 was approved by the board. 

Budget Resolution #2023-13 was also approved unanimously. 

The next regular meeting of the village board is scheduled for Tuesday, October 3, at 7 p.m.