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home : news : city news April 17, 2015

8/15/2014 7:30:00 PM
City rejects damaged restrooms for Boyce Drive boat launch

Marcus Nesemann
Reporter/Photographer


The Rhinelander City Council has opted to reject the damaged restroom for the new Boyce Drive boat launch, choosing instead to have the contractor provide a new structure for the launch.

The council voted unanimously Monday to reject the structure and request a new one be installed.

The city's Parks, Buildings and Grounds Committee learned late last month that Janke General Contractors, Inc., the group working on the new launch, dropped the $41,000 prefabricated restroom facility as it was being installed.

The extent of the damage was not fully known at the time of the committee meeting, though Jim Bollmann of MSA Professional Services, the firm designing the project, and Public Works Director Tim Kingman both reported a brief inspection found signs of visual damage including cracks in all four corners of the building.

Kingman also told the committee the city had no obligation to accept the damaged structure and could request a new one be built and installed.

That's exactly what the council decided to do, though City Administrator Blaine Oborn said what happens next is not entirely clear.

"I anticipate (Janke) ordering a new one," he said. "They never came back and gave us any proposal so I'm assuming they are probably going to take an insurance loss or something. We sent a note to them after the council (meeting) and told them to order a new one."

Questions also arose regarding whether waiting on a new restroom facility will delay the opening of the launch. The launch could be opened without the restrooms, but part of the construction includes paving a way to the launch.

Bollman informed the committee that it may be wise to postpone the opening of the launch.

"I doubt very much Janke will try this again. I think they'll hire a crane, which would be a bigger crane. I'm not so sure we want that sitting on brand new asphalt," he said last month.

After the council decision, Oborn said the city would continue investigating the best route to take.

"At the meeting, it was said it would probably be two months, so we'll have to figure out the ramifications (of the delay)," he said. "It's tentative. Maybe they can get it sooner, but when the manufacturer was there the next day after the parks meeting, he said typically the order takes about two months."

Increased inspection fees

In other business, the group gave unanimous approval to the new fee structure for the city's Inspection Department.

At a Protection of Persons and Property Committee meeting last month, Terry Williams, inspection administrator and fire chief, outlined a plan to raise the fees - a task he said is completed about every other year - while also restructuring some of the charges so that they are now zoning fees.

The fee increases for the inspection work and permits range anywhere from $5 to $50, but the big change comes in the form of changing the status of commercial electrical permits and commercial plumbing permits by making them zoning fees.

The department isn't charging anything for the permits at the moment, because the state doesn't allow it unless a municipality has a commercial electrical inspector or a commercial plumbing inspector on staff. By changing to zoning fees, the city will be able to charge for the inspections and recoup the cost of subcontracting with a licensed commercial electrical inspector or a commercial plumbing inspector, Williams said.

Bethesda's final approval

After the city plan commission gave its stamp of approval last month to a zoning change and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Bethesda Lutheran Communities remodel of the former South Park School building, the council followed suit Monday.

Bethesda plans to consolidate its offices into one central location at South Park, but needed the city to approve a zoning change from a two-family residential district to a community building district and issue a CUP to complete the transition.

The plan commission approved the change after Williams offered a glowing recommendation of the company.

The council unanimously approved the permit and zoning change.

Marcus Nesemann may be reached at marcus@rivernewsonline.com.





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