BOSCOBEL - The Boscobel Common Council moved forward with a $643,000 infrastructure project when it approved matching funds for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program during Monday night’s meeting. The city’s share would be $321,000, with the project scheduled for 2022.
Mark Steward of the engineering firm Vierbacher and Associates told the Council that the Public Facilities Program is for improvements to low and moderate income neighborhoods, with five low income areas in Boscobel identified.
The top two prioritized neighborhoods were Center/Warah streets with 78 percent low income households and East Oak/Valley/Park (69%). The project will include water, sewer, streets and sidewalks.
“You can almost bet on $300,000 coming into the community,” said Steward, based on a $100 per capita payment from Housing and Urban Development.
In order to qualify for the program the city must have a policy in place prohibiting the use of excessive force against non-violent civil rights demonstrations.
“We already have one,” said City Attorney Ben Wood.
“Yes, you already have one, but this is the 2020-21 updated version,” replied Steward.
The Council received an update on three Wisconsin Avenue properties slated for demolition: Snick’s Fin-n-Feather (826), the old Boscobel Dial building (805) and the Jeremy and Vicki Faust property (909).
The Fin-N-Feather was destroyed in a Halloween 2019, while the Faust building was supposed to be down by October 3, 2020. Lacey Swanson got the old Dial building when she purchased what is now the Old 61 Diner just before the coronavirus struck last spring. COVID has been a factor in all three buildings still standing.
“(Mayor) Steve (Wetter) spoke with Snick (Schlump) not too long ago and he said he could probably have it down by July 1,” said City Administrator Misty Molzof. “Since Steve gave Snick until July 1 he gave the Fausts the same deal.”
Communication between Swanson and the city was put on hold after the pandemic struck and she has not received a raze order.
“It’s been long enough; there’s no more time for excuses,” Wood said. “The need to be gone by July 1stor the city will raze them and send them a bill.”
“We’ll send Lacey a letter and tell her it needs to be done,” Wetter said. “This stuff takes a long time to get done. We’ve been through it several times and you sort of have to treat it with kid gloves.”
“It sure would be nice if they were gone by the Fourth of July,” added Molzof.
Molzof also reported that some concerned citizens had contacted her about lowering the speed limit on Highway 61 at the southern end of the city from its current 55 mph.
“Community members want the speed limit lowered by Fillback’s and the south entrance to the city,” she said. “It doesn’t look very promising, but I did ask the DOT to add us to their speed study. So we’ll see where it goes.”
The Council approved Police Chief Jaden McCullick’s request to pay his officers $25 an hour for staffing events. Charges to the organization will be $30 pr hour to cover employment benefit costs. The Council also approved purchasing a 2016 Chevy Impala with 39,500 miles for the chief from Les Mack in Lancaster.
“I just don’t want to get to the point we are now where we have three squad cars falling apart,” McCullick said of the purchase.
In other action, the Council:
• Approved a bid proposal of $36,000 from Midwest Seal Coat to resurface the tennis/basketball courts in Kronshage Park. The tennis courts will also be able to accommodate pickleball players with some slight modifications. The work will begin June 15 and be completed by July 1.
• Heard Nathan Updike has begun work as the Maintenance Assistant/Street Department Laborer hybrid position and James Marks is the new WWTP Laborer.• Heard from Mayor Wetter that the city has been preliminarily awarded $250,000 from the Boat Landing Project through a Sport Fish Restoration Boat Access grant. That is one of four grant applied for and whether all or some of those are approved will determine whether the project will move forward and in what form.