By Brandi Makuski
The city council next week will be asked to approve spending just over $155,000 to help rebuild Country Club Dr. in the Town of Hull.
Mayor Mike Wiza on Tuesday said in an exclusive interview with the Metro Wire that he was preparing a press release to announce a “partnership” with the town to rebuild a section of Country Club Dr., which is laden with potholes. The section connects two parts of Stevens Point and is about three-tenths of a mile long
Public Works Director Scott Beduhn, who started his job with the city in 2017, said the road in its current form was constructed in 1985, and future maintenance costs for the roadway was sealed by a contract between the two municipalities.
The agreement states that Hull is responsible for “routine minor maintenance”, but that “any single repair exceeding $1,000 shall be performed by third parties” through a bidding process approved by both municipalities, and paid via a 70/30 cost-sharing formula.
Town of Hull Chairman John Holdridge on Tuesday said he hadn’t yet spoken with Wiza on the matter, but he believes the 1985 contract is still legally binding.
“Our budget is $2 million; the city has a budget of about $25 million, which is why we made that agreement back in 1985,” Holdridge said.
Since the city opened the Country Club Dr. overpass, which is located over the city/town boundary, about 18 months ago, Holdridge estimates traffic along the stretch of road has increased by at least 1,000 cars daily.
“And this winter was terrible, which already has a big impact on roads, so the extra traffic makes things worse,” he said.
City Treasurer Corey Ladick, who attended last week’s Country Club Dr. Task Force meeting in Hull, said the city will work with the town based on the 1985 agreement.
Based on Hull’s estimate, the roadway will cost about $222,000 to rebuild, making the city’s share about $155,400. Ladick the city will seek approval on the project during a special public works meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 20.
“[The funds] would come from the public works budget for road projects…it was not planned, it was not budgeted for,” Ladick said Tuesday, adding he sat down with Beduhn to ascertain the department’s expenditures for the year so far, and both felt the department could deal with the additional expense.
“We should be able to do this while still doing all the road projects we originally planned to do,” Ladick said. “The sacrifice for the city is that, with the condition of roads in the city, I know the public works department was hoping to do some additional roads this year that weren’t part of the 2019 capital budget. Basically, that’s what the city will have to give up, the prospect of doing some of these roads.”
Ladick said the city felt it had a legal obligation to fulfill the 1985 agreement, and while the Country Club Dr. project could be pushed off until 2020, he said, “The prospect of this road going another winter…most people, I think, would agree that’s not a good idea.”
The city will discuss the proposal at 6:30 p.m. on May 20 on the second floor of the courthouse in Branch II.