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Officials give public more control of Main Street reconstruction options

Utility lines may be buried as part of street improvement project

Oct. 31, 2012

Village of Dousman - Village residents are getting an unusual opportunity to help plan the reconstruction of Main Street including possibly extending the length of the project and burying utility lines in the downtown business district.

When local governments repair their main streets they usually specifically define the route of the reconstruction and the possible construction alternatives, but Dousman officials are doing it differently.

They are asking village residents to comment on the possibility of two or three different routes of reconstruction and consider whether they want the taxpayers and individual property owners to incur the expense of burying utility lines.

"The Village Board wanted to give the community an opportunity to participate in the very initial stages of the project," said Steve Wurster, senior project manager for Ruekert-Mielke engineering consultants.

Village President Jack Nissen explained that trustees have decided it is time to rebuild and resurface Main Street from Wilson to Henry streets, what he described as the "core" of the project.

The estimated cost of rebuilding and resurfacing the road from Wilson to Henry streets is about $2.6 million, according to Jonathan Cameron of Trilogy Consulting.

An estimated additional $500,000, for a total of $3,187,750, will be needed if the utility lines are buried, according to Cameron.

Nissen said the consultants are also working on more detailed cost estimates for extending the work north and south of the core project.

Each property owner in the village would pay somewhere between $28 and $77 a year for the core work depending upon whether the utilities are buried, according to Cameron.

Nissan said some residents and business owners believe burying the utilities will make the downtown business district more attractive and encourage more visitors and residents to shop in the business district.

About three dozen residents attended a public information meeting last month. During the meeting, representatives of Ruekert-Mielke and Trilogy Consulting explained the proposal and its proposed financing.

Residents and business owners were asked to review the map of Main Street and identify specific areas of the street that the resident and business owners believe needed improving. They were asked to identify those areas with blue dots attached to the map and then make written comments relating to the dots.

Nissen emphasized that village officials, consultants and contractors will work closely with business owners in an effort to minimize interruptions for local businesses. Nissen said because of the unusual width of Main Street he anticipates one lane of traffic will be open nearly all of the time during the construction.

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