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What a mess: Roadwork, clean up must begin

With winter's icy grip finally melted away, town of River Falls officials are focused on road repairs and cleaning debris from the recent snowstorm.

With winter's icy grip finally melted away, town of River Falls officials are focused on road repairs and cleaning debris from last week's snowstorm.

At the May 6 regular Town Board meeting, Highway Department employee Brian Weber said 80% of the town's fuel budget has been burned for 2013 due to the extended winter weather.

Weber is also struggling with how to remove all downed trees and branches left from the heavy, wet snowfall.

He asked the Town Board how to proceed with clearing away road right of ways of stumps, branches and trees -- many of which are safety hazards to drivers.

The board asked Weber to contact Scott Miller of Xtreme Tree Shark in Hammond and other tree services to see if one of them can be hired to help with the cleanup.

Supervisor Tom Sitz saw a demonstration of the Xtreme Tree Shark at a recent Wisconsin Town's Association meeting and was impressed by the efficiency of the equipment.

The Tree Shark can reach 28 to 30-feet high and grinds trees and brush to mulch at a rate of 900 feet per hour.

The Town Board also approved spending up to $15,000 to hire St. Croix County to spray patch the roads in the Perry Adams addition, which include 805th, 980th and 975th streets. This will be done in lieu of milling and paving this year.

The board wants to try spray patching in that area to see how it works before it uses the process in a more high traffic area.

Other projects on the to do list include chip sealing South Wasson Lane, 940th Street, 710th Avenue and the Happy Valley Homes addition; crack sealing the Happy Valley Homes addition and 710th Avenue; and replacing culverts on Randall and Sleepy Hollow Roads.

In other business

  • Road restrictions were lifted May 6.
  • The town adopted a resolution supporting the Pierce County All Hazards Mitigation Plan, which will help reduce risks to people and structures during natural disasters and reduce reliance on disaster funding.
  • A building permit was issued April 15 to Catharine Noel, N8480 850th St., for a commercial kitchen building. Noel plans to use a brick oven to bake bread and pizzas. She is also considering hosting food preparation classes and demonstrations and possibly selling bread and pizzas to the public, in which case she would need a conditional use permit.
  • A certified survey map was approved for Wade Frevert, W10042 State Road 65, to separate a 4.895-acre parcel from a 40-acre parcel for refinancing purposes.
  • Roy Lund, N8096 950th St.; John Oliver, N7899 920th St.; and Siri Smith, W9678 770th Ave. were reappointed to the Planning Commission.
  • Brad Mogen, N7243 810th St., and Brian Copp, N8141 975th St., were reappointed to the Parks and Recreation Committee. Blair Conklin, N7761 State Road 65 was also appointed.
  • Dan Masog, N7922 902nd St., informed the board he is working with St. Croix Gas to possibly extend a natural gas line down Highway 65 and into his neighborhood next to River Falls Town Hall.