The City of Fennimore’s 2013 street reconstruction work may last well beyond the Dog Days of Summer.
The Fennimore Common Council learned street reconstruction projects are a month behind during a meeting Monday evening, July 8.
“Sanitary sewer has a been a slow process on 11th Street,” said Director of Public Works Dennis Biddick. “Between the weather and contractor’s work schedules, it is taking a little longer than we had hoped for.”
Biddick told the Council there is likely five weeks of underground work left.
“I would imagine weather was the biggest factor,” alderperson Sarah Brodt said.
Per a five-year street reconstruction plan the Council approved last January, 11th Street – Adams Street to Coolidge Street, Coolidge Street – 10th Street to 12th Street, Cleveland Street – 10th to 11th Street, and Adams Street – 11th to 12th Street is slated to be reconstructed.
“The main thing was the delay at the beginning,” Biddick said. “We originally hoped to start the first of May, and it was the middle of June when we started.
“That is typical of almost every contractor you talk to. Work is three to four weeks behind.”
Alderperson David Streif asked if the delay would hinder blacktop work at the conclusion of the projects.
“It is going to push us into September,” Biddick replied. “We are going to be plenty good with the time schedule.
“Normally, asphalt plants shut down around Thanksgiving week. We should be paving in September.”
Street improvements are estimated to cost $200,578, water system improvements are estimated to cost $26,720 and sanitary sewer system improvements are estimated to cost $41,858. Each estimate includes five percent in contingencies.
The heat is off
The heater at the Fennimore Community Pool has been rendered non-operational for the remainder of the pool season.
“The heater continues to be a problem,” Biddick said. “We had a company come in and clean it at the beginning of the season and worked on anything that needed to be updated at the time.
“Since then, it has been out of commission twice more.”
The useful life of pool heaters is 10 to 12 years, Biddick noted. The heater at the Fennimore Community Pool entered its 18th season last month.
“As of Friday night I went in and I turned it off for the rest of the summer,” Biddick said. “I just didn’t think it was safe to have this thing running anymore.
“It was burning directly out of the distributor pipes instead of out of the diffuser tubes.”
To find a potential replacement to the pool’s aging gas-fired boiler system, one only needs to look to the sky.
“Dennis and I have talked a little bit and before we do anything for next year, we should really talk about solar units for heating the pool,” Mayor Charles Stenner said. “You can control the heat probably better and it would be a lot less expensive.”
Biddick told the Council he has visited Boscobel’s pool, which utilizes solar energy to heat the pool’s water.
“You don’t have the operational costs of supplying the gas,” Biddick said. “I think we allocate over $3,000 a year in gas.”
A new gas-fired boiler heating system would cost approximately $14,000 to $15,000, Biddick told the Council. A solar heating system would cost approximately $23,000 to $25,000.
“But, at $3,000 a year in gas savings, it adds up and pays for itself in a matter of seven or eight years,” Biddick said.
In addition to the heater woes, the pool continues to leak an average of 17,000 gallons of water a day.
“We do have plans put together to go in and try to isolate and find the leak once the pool is closed,” Biddick said.
Street closure approved
The Council approved a pair of requests concerning an upcoming street dance as the meeting began.
Approved was a request to close 7th Street from Lincoln Avenue to Madison Street on Aug. 3 from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Aug. 4. Tina Jerrett submitted the request on behalf of T.J.’s Place.
The Council also approved a permit to allow the consumption of alcohol on a public street during the street dance. Alcohol will be served from 8 p.m. on Aug. 3 until midnight.
“We hope to have a real good crowd,” Jerrett told the Council.
“Mama’s Puddin’” will provide the evening’s entertainment.
This is the second year music will be permitted until midnight. Previously, music was permitted until 11 p.m.
In other action, the Council:
• approved Tom Needham’s reappointment to the Library Board. Needham’s second term will expire June 30, 2016.
• approved a request by Renee Croft and Croft Development to split a building in the plan for Fox Croft Estates.
The plan called for a four-unit building west of Kennedy Street and south of Fox Croft Court. Croft Development would like to build a pair of duplexes instead.
“Because of the current housing market we feel the duplexes will sell better than a four-plex,” Croft wrote in an e-mail to City Clerk/Treasurer Margaret Sprague and Biddick.