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City driving for public input on Galena Street total reconstruction
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DARLINGTON – The regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Darlington was called to order Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. by President David Gough.
    A presentation by Matt Dapp and Jim Rinzel of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WDOT) was given to the council. The topic of the presentation was the total reconstruction of Highway 23, from the Pecatonica River bridge to County Shop Road.
    The city council needs to make a decision on which of these five alternatives should go forward. Alt. Main – five foot bicycle lane (east) & five foot bicycle lane and eight foot parking lane (west) – City of Darlington cost - $159,261; Alt. A - five foot bicycle lane (east) & eight foot parking lane (west) - $159,261; Alt. B – ten foot parking lane (west) - $190,888; Alt. C – eight foot parking lane (east) & eight foot parking lane (west) - $258,423; Alt. D – ten foot parking lane (east) & ten foot parking lane (west) - $316,699.
    All of these options include two, twelve foot traffic lanes. Alternatives C and D would have parking on both sides of the road (similar to what is in place now), the other alternatives will have no parking on the east side of the road.
    There is a roadway alignment shift proposed on the entire stretch of road, different versions will need to be chosen by the city. According to the WDOT this shift would correct a horizontal curve issue in certain locations. The curve radius is not big enough, in relation to speed, for trucks to make the curves comfortably.
    A retaining wall will be put in from Ravine Street all the way to Hill Street and beyond, on the west side. Sidewalk will come down to street level on the west side of the street. Huntington Court will close the south entrance into Huntington Court and a cult-de-sac would be put in. All these items are in the discussion phase and can be changed.
    The WDOT has scheduled a public meeting in Feb. 2016. There was a meeting in May of 2016 already. The council suggested that the WDOT schedule a meeting earlier for the public, so the council can get input from residents before making this decision. The WDOT said they would try to make that happen.
    Suzi Osterday, Darlington Main Street Program coordinator, submitted her resignation effective Dec. 30, 2016. Osterday spoke and expressed her love for the city. She also thanked the council for their support of the program and said it was time for her to step down.
    Approved a temporary class B retailers liquor license for the Darlington Fire Department for Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 12 midnight at the firehouse. This is for the fire departments gun banquet.
    Discussed a proposed lease agreement with Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (SWTC). The lease is for an 840 square foot office in the upstairs of the municipal building. The rent to be paid is $1,200 for the year. Some stipulations were added, as suggested by city attorney Bill McDaniel. They include if the need arises they would be moved to another part of the building; exterior and indoor signage would need approval of the mayor; SWTC needs to maintain $1 million liability insurance
    Some Alder’s eyebrows were raised at the proposed rent of $100 per month for 840 square feet, which translates to 12¢ a square foot. This is after the council approved setting an advertised rate of a $10 a square foot at their last meeting and felt all aghast that the county was paying only 50¢ a square foot. Alder Steve Picket said, “$100 per month is more that we’re getting now and they are helping people with GED’s, etc. They’re not making money, they’re helping the community.”
    After closed session a motion was made to draw up a contract with Quilt Block Wind Farm, LLC for lot 11 in Darlington’s Business Park. Quilt Block Wind Farm will build, operate and maintain a wind farm that will be built in Seymour Township, approximately seven to eight miles west of the City of Darlington on Hwy. 81. The company will build 49 wind turbines starting in Spring of 2017 and are projected to be operational at the end of that year. The energy will be sold to Dairyland Power Cooperative. According to published reports the Town of Seymour will receive $150,000 a year and Lafayette County with receive $200,000 a year for the first 20 years and can be renewed after that. 20 farmers have signed contracts with the company. The motion was approved.