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The tentative schedule for the Vermont Street/Parkway Terrace project has an anticipated start date of Monday, June 28 and a projected completion date of Saturday, Oct. 30.

Question:

What’s the status of the Vermont Street and Parkway Terrace Project?

Answer:

The Vermont Street/Parkway Terrace reconstruction project is on track to begin later this month as the city has recently had a pre-construction meeting with the contractor, James Peterson Sons, Inc. of Medford, Wis.

According to City Administrator Adam Sonntag, the meeting was used to help plan the project and ensure the city and contractor are on the same page.

During the meeting, he says the contractor provided the city with a tentative schedule for the project, which has an anticipated start date of Monday, June 28 and a projected completion date of Saturday, Oct. 30.

Sonntag added that some activities on the site may begin ahead of the anticipated start date.

At $2.2 million, the project is anticipated to be one of the city’s biggest road projects in its history. According to an email from Public Works Director Mike Ehrenberg, the project is the city’s only road project planned for this summer.

It was made possible by a $1 million Community Development Block Grant for Public Facilities (CDBG) from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which will reconstruct Vermont Street and Parkway Terrace from Oshkosh Street to Creative Way.

Most of the remaining $1.2 million will be funded through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Safe Drinking Water Loan and the Clean Water Fund Loan programs, which are low-interest loans accounting for $475,000 and $560,000, respectively.

Sonntag says the two loan programs “compliment the CDBG very well.”

“At the end of the day, you have a $2 million project where around 50% is grant funds," the city administrator said. "That's the difference with this project because, generally, we would have maybe done a $1 million project, not a $2 million project."

The new roadway on Vermont Street and Parkway Terrace will consist of two 16-foot travel lanes with curb and gutter.

Additionally, the sanitary sewer and water main will be replaced along both roadways. Improvements also include adjustments to the roadway alignment and profile to improve drainage. An additional storm sewer will be constructed to convey stormwater off site.

In fact, the Common Council unanimously approved two resolutions related to the Vermont Street/Parkway Terrace reconstruction project Tuesday.

The first resolution enables the city to submit applications for financial assistance from the state in the form of applying for the Safe Drinking Water Loan and the Clean Water Fund Loan programs.

“We work directly with the DNR — and in this case MSA [Professional Services, Inc] too — to fill out any applications and submit a bunch of paperwork to apply for that funding,” Sonntag said. “We hope to get some principal forgiveness on those loans, so it, basically, equates to grant money.”

He added that the city doesn’t know the full scope of potential principal forgiveness.

The second was a resolution declaring official intent to reimburse expenditures up to $2 million with proceeds from various funding sources.

During the meeting, Sonntag explained that work on the project was expected to begin prior to the city receiving funding from the Safe Drinking Water Loan and the Clean Water Fund Loan.

“This resolution declares that as those bills come in, they can be reimbursed later on with the funding,” he said.

What this means for you:

Sonntag says this is Ripon’s first project utilizing CDBG funds and hopes it can act as a springboard for more projects funded through different loan and grant programs down the road.

“I would hope that it provides a blueprint for the community in the future to continue to invest in infrastructure by obtaining grant funds and working creatively with funding to address some of these roadways and infrastructure issues,” he said. “It's a step in the right direction.”

How to submit:

If you have a question, we want to give you an answer. Send a question, name and contact information to:

Mail: 303 Watson St., Ripon WI 54971, P.O. Box 262, Ripon WI 54971

Email: news@riponpress.com.

Written By

Joe Schulz served as the reporter of the Green Laker in 2019 and 2020, before being hired as a reporter for the Commonwealth in October 2020. He is from Oshkosh and graduated from UW-Oshkosh in December with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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