Emilie Conlon, Editor-in-Chief
The village of Plain was recently awarded approximately $190,000 in community grant funds for structural upgrades to Nachreiner Avenue.
The village was officially awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from Sauk County at the county board Jan. 19 meeting. The funds were originally earmarked for a low-to medium income housing development in Reedsburg, but developers for the project fell through, leaving the county to find a new, eligible project by the end of January.
“If we don’t assign them by Jan. 31, they will revert back to the state and we sure don’t want that, we want to keep it all in Sauk County,” said Supervisor Wally Czuprynko of Lake Delton.
The $190,000 funds will cover the entire cost of the project for the segment of Nachreiner Avenue from Oak Street to Main Street.
The project will include removing and replacing over 700 feet of existing water main, 545 feet of existing sanitary sewer, 400 feet of sewer and water materials and three sewer manholes. The sewer and water materials currently there are over 60 years old, according to the project proposal.
The proposal said, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the system has outlived its useful life by approximately 25 to 30 years, and “the problems on Nachreiner Avenue will not improve if left untreated. They are only going to get progressively worse,” according to the proposal.
The proposal said if the upgrades are not completed, the frequency of water main breaks and sewer back-ups will increase, although residents in the village have yet to experience any sewer problems.
Additional work includes widening the west side entrances of the road, and completely reconstructing the roadway to allow for two-way traffic and street parking. Currently the road way is not large enough to allow for two-way traffic and street parking, and was declared a one-way about two years ago by the village. The curbs and gutters on the road will also be reconstructed.
The sidewalks will be lowered six inches to be flush with existing lawns and walkways, to improve safety for pedestrians.
CDBG funds are designed to provide or improve low to medium income housing, and for projects to be eligible a certain number of residents in the area must fall into that category.
Village Clerk Sheila Carver said she felt the village’s project was being “swept under the rug” at the county level because county officials were concerned the village did not meet the income qualifications. However, over 60% of the residents on Nachreiner Avenue fall into the low-to-medium income bracket.
“Jared Pinkus, the guy who is kind of in charge of all of this, thought that Plain wouldn’t qualify with the low-to-moderate income, I said ‘I did a target survey and we are qualified’,” said Carver. “I felt like we were kind of being swept up under the carpet and I was like, ‘We really need to be considered for this.’ They’re going to cover our entire cost for our portion, Nachreiner Avenue is covered 100%.”
Sauk County considered other projects in Lake Delton, Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo, however they did not meet the qualifications for the income limit or had already started.
“The clerk up in Plain was tickled pink about the opportunity, they are super happy about this and timing was of the essence, so good job on everyone’s part,” said Supervisor Smooth Detter of Prairie du Sac.
The county board voted to allocate the funds to Plain unanimously, with 28 supervisors present and three absent.
Carver said the village will be sending contracting bids out in February, and the project is expected to be completed sometime this summer.