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Delafield officials work to save Milwaukee Street trees with project

Delafield officials explain process for Milwaukee Street

Jan. 9, 2013

City of Delafield - As planning progresses for the widening and resurfacing of a portion of Milwaukee Street - and with many residents still concerned of the fate of the trees along the street - the city engineer said further effort continues in preserving as many trees as possible.

"Our goal is to save as many trees as we can," said Mike Court, the city engineer from Yaggy Colby Associates at a presentation of the revised plan at last week's Public Works Committee meeting. "If we don't have to take them down, we won't."

The number of trees planned to be removed in the revised project is 30 - compared to the 57 trees initially proposed.

The reduction Court said, comes partially with the City Council's decision in November to complete only one-third of the approximately three-quarter -mile-long project that was originally proposed. He also said about a half-dozen of the trees still slated to be cut down are already dead or are requested by homeowners to be removed. Some other trees are overcrowded in areas and will be thinned out, resulting in helping the health and growth of those remaining, he said.

According to the plan, the resurfacing and widening of Milwaukee Street will extend from Oneida Street, near the downtown business district, east to Nagawicka Street, at the entrance of Fireman's Park. The street will widen from 23 feet to 27 feet, allowing for three-foot bicycle lanes on both sides of the street shoulders. A sidewalk is also proposed to run along the south side of the street.

"We have tried to curve the sidewalk around as many trees as we can," Court said.

Some residents, since the project began, have expressed concerns that the curb and gutter for a storm sewer system, which is still proposed from about Bleeker Street to Oak Street - or a roughly 600-foot stretch of Milwaukee Street - would damage the roots of the existing mature tree roots, causing the trees to slowly die and disrupt drainage. Other opponents assert that the storm sewer installation will divert drainage, allowing for polluted runoff into nearby Lake Nagawicka.

Court said, however, that the design plans for the curb and gutter should actually lessen the impact on the trees, helping to maintain the existing more slight grading slope surrounding them and decreasing drainage disruption. Several catch basins, he said, will allow for siltation and sediments to be removed before entering the lake.

The proposed drainage for the rest of the street will remain a ditch-andculvert system, Court said. A storm water retention pond is also planned near the northwest corner of Fireman's Park, he said.

Court called the plan difficult, but a "healthy compromise." The street project, he said, will improve the street condition and make the road safer for pedestrians - which has been the Common Council's primary intent - while sacrificing some trees, but finding the potential to keep others, in the process. Ten thousand dollars will also be dedicated for new tree planting along the street, he said.

Residents continue to post opposition to the project on a citizen group blog, blacktopparadise.blogspot.com - where they have described the project as an "environmental, cultural and taxpayer disaster."

The project cost was initially $900,000, and to come from the city's 2013 capital budget. The current cost - with the revised, shorter construction plan - is expected to be about half that amount.

Public Works Director Tom Hafner said continuing the resurfacing and widening of Milwaukee Street past Fireman's Park to Main Street - as originally planned - may be revisited in the next three to four years. Currently, he said, any definite plans are uncertain.

Milwaukee Street resident, Jim Buege, who lives a few properties west of Main Street, said he hasn't felt any relief with the truncated construction plan. From the beginning, Buege has questioned the street's proposed new sidewalk, since the existing Lake Country Recreation Trail already brings pedestrians safely to the park from downtown.

Buege also questions why the revised plan has the proposed sidewalk continuing through Fireman's Park from the west and abruptly ending on the eastern property edge, if it isn't still planned to be continued.

The current plan is expected to return to the Public Works Committee for review and revisions Feb. 6. Construction could begin in June and be completed in September.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

A Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Jerome Parish School, 1001 S. Silver Lake St. The bazaar will feature handcrafted items, a raffle and Sweet Shop treats. A luncheon, which includes a beverage and dessert, will be $7 and served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Admission is free.
The Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets Doo-Wop Quartet will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at St. Olaf’s Church, Highway O and Roosevelt Road in the town of Ashippun. Cost is $20 adults in advance, $25 at the door if seats are available. Call (414) 651-3915 for tickets.
A Supreme Breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Bruno Church, 266 W. Ottawa Ave., Dousman. Breakfast includes pancakes, French toast, sausage, eggs, hash browns, orange juice and coffee.Proceeds to benefit charities in the Dousman area. Hosted by the Dousman Knights of Columbus Council 6436 with the Dousman Masonic Lodge 315. Cost is $7 adults, $3 children under 10.
The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market will open for the season and celebrate five years starting at 9:15 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center in Oconomowoc. From 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. will be a ribbon cutting; 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. will be birthday cake cutting and presentation by Alice in Dairyland. The market will be open 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through March 2015, except Nov. 30 and Dec. 28. For more information, visit www.oconomowoc.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

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