By DAVID KRIER
The city of Boscobel is seeking an additional $500,000 in state aid through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to pay for mitigation from damage suffered in the severe flooding of late June. A separate $500,000 CDBG application was submitted in July for Grant County.
“It has become obvious that $500,000 for the entire county will not be sufficient,” Dale Klemme told the Boscobel Common Council at their Monday night meeting. Klemme is executive director of Community Development Alternatives, Inc. of Prairie du Chien, which will be submitting the application.
The Council approved submitting an Emergency Assistance Application to the Wisconsin Department of Administration for the $500,000 grant, which, if approved, would go to residents of the city of Boscobel only.
“These monies would assist owner-occupied properties not covered by insurance to put them back to pre-flood condition,” Klemme explained. First in line would be low income families earning 80 percent of the area median income.
“It could go up to cover 100 percent once the 80 percent are covered,” Klemme said. “It is my understanding that very few people had insurance for this event, one percent at best had flood insurance.”
Klemme estimated income eligibility in Boscobel at $32,700 for a single person household and $34,000 for a family of two.
“For the first time, income eligibility went down last year in southwest Wisconsin,” Klemme said. “That’s not very encouraging.”
Director of Public Works Mike Reynolds estimated infrastructure damage in the city at $50,000 to $75,000, including heavy damage to two bridges, sidewalk, the Sanders Creek walkway and storm sewer outlets.
“Our major costs were probably picking up debris,” Reynolds said. “We did have a lot of rip rap actually washed away from bridges, which I think would qualify.”
Klemme said any approved funds would first go to eligible owner-occupied dwellings, then the city.
“We would like to make sure that the people who qualify for the money get it if they need it, then the city,” Reynolds said.
Klemme pointed out that the money would not include personal property and that he should hear if the money is available two weeks after the application is submitted.
“(The state) has already been asking about Boscobel, so it looks like they want to help,” he said.
Police Chief Todd Stenner asked the Council to implement a public intoxication ordinance in the city, citing examples of public drunkenness he said need to be addressed.
“We have issues right now in the city of Boscobel with alcohol, people passing out in public, parks, even outside private residences,” Stenner said. “Our worst problem in town is with alcohol.”
The city already has a disorderly conduct ordinance that deals with many alcohol-related issues, but not a specific public intoxication ordinance, which Stenner said would be used sparingly at the officer’s discretion.
“This (ordinance) is for people we deal with who are past the point of no return. By citing them they get a penalty for it, which they don’t get now,” Stenner said.
Council President Pete Huibregtse wanted to know what kind of a deterrent effect such an ordinance would have, considering it would mainly deal with chronic alcoholics.
“We have to do what we can to protect the safety and welfare of the public,” Stenner said. “This is not something that would be implemented nightly or even weekly, but just another tool we can work with.”
The matter was referred to the city attorney for further study and review.
In other action: the Council:
•Authorized Stenner to hire an additional part-time police officer. “We are down to three active, part-time officers right now and they are also fulfilling the needs of Fennimore and Muscoda,” he said. “You’re looking at $35 an hour vs. $15.25. I’d like to get at least one right now and possibly two.”
•Approved a $40,000 UDAG loan to Krachey’s BP for new high efficiency LED lighting, three new pumps, and other improvements. The money would be paid back at 1.75 percent interest over 15 years.
•Approved beer licenses for the Aug. 24-25 tractor and truck pull at the Boscobel Antique Club grounds, as well as the Sept. 15 Chicken BBQ at Immaculate Conception Church.