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New library bid opening date nearing
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Among the information received by the Muscoda village board at their January 12 meeting was that the bid opening for the construction of the new library is approaching. Village Administrator Cinda Johnson told the trustees that a pre-bid meeting for contractors would be held Tuesday, January 19. Following that, the bid opening itself is scheduled for Thursday, January 28. Johnson said it is unclear whether the contracts can be awarded that day.

Among the items near the end of the agenda for the evening was: “Discussion and possibly action on offer to purchase property at 219 N. Wisconsin Avenue.” The item, regarding the property that has been the subject of a possible repair or raze order, was moved into closed session, as were several personnel matters.

Included among the more mundane items on the agenda was snow plowing in the Buffalo Street area where the village south side joins Muscoda Township. New construction in that area resulted in discussion regarding joint responsibilities for road care between the two municipalities. Troy Wardell, village superintendent, said after the last snowfall the village crew plowed the street section in question. Johnson said the matter had not yet been discussed with township personnel.

Mobile home park licenses for the Rux and Evergreen courts were renewed. Several items regarding the certified maps of the village in the Industrial Park were tabled pending further information.

Traffic matters

Chief of Police Bill Schramm told the board that the Department of Transportation would be upgrading signage along Wisconsin Avenue.

He said indications are that an official school crossing may be designated at the highway crossing located next to the Gunderson Clinic. If that is the case, a portion of the highway will be posted as a 15 miles per hour zone when children are present.

Currently the north end of the highway is a 35 m.p.h. zone which then becomes 25 m.p.h. Schramm noted that a traffic study may be carried out which could affect designated speeds.

He said the last DOT traffic study was taken several years ago, before the post office was moved to its present location and before the Muscoda Health Center clinic was constructed. Also, the new Godager-Pratt Funeral Home on North Wisconsin Avenue has just begun operation. Schramm said those changes along the northern entrance to Muscoda could possibly result in the entire length of Highway 80 within the village being designated a 25 m.p.h. zone. The new signing effort is a DOT project for planning and cost.

Schramm was asked about the number of officers currently on the force. He notes there is the same number of officers as has been the case for several years – three full-time officers. There is also a pool of four part-time officers from which to draw when needed. He said it might seem to people that there are more officers. That may be because of new faces among part-timers as full-time jobs are found in other communities. The chief said this seems to be a good time to be a police officer as the part-time officers are finding full-time jobs.

It was explained that the department has had three full-time officers for the past five years. However, during that time there was a period when there were two full-timers plus a department secretary. When secretary Donna Imhoff retired, the third full-time officer position was restored.

Distracted driving

In another police matter, Schramm explained that the Muscoda department has received a grant to participate in a statewide effort to curtail inattentive driving.

That grant provides for two 4-hour shifts a month for two officers to watch for distracted driving such as cell phone use, texting and a list of other things, including cross-walk violations. The extra expense of the program is financed by the grant. Grant County has also received such a grant and Sheriff Department officers have worked in this and other area communities.

Some changes are being made in the police department office in the Kratochwill Building. As a result a number of electrical outlets are being added. Two bids for the work, one for $1,250 from Electric Designs and the other from Strang Heating & Electric for $1,525 were received. The board accepted the Electric Designs bid.

In other matters, Wardell said new tires are needed for a one-ton truck and a 2½-ton utility truck. The needed money is in the budget.

The resignation of Kyle McCorkle, utility lineman, was accepted. A letter from McCorkle thanked the village for the opportunity to work here but indicated it was time for him to move on.