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River Hills seeks federal funds for Green Tree Road

Village would likely pay $86,000 for construction work

April 26, 2013

River Hills - Efforts are under way to seek federal funding for road repairs along portions of Green Tree Road, following a decision April 17 by the River Hills Village Board.

For several years, the village has eyed improving Green Tree Road, from Jean Nicolet Road to the east and River Road to the west, though the cost and full scope of the work has been wrangled over.

Village Engineer Mustafa Emir came before the board with a cost estimate at the board meeting. His figure was higher than one estimated by his predecessor several years ago.

Based on his findings, Emir projects the village will need to chip in about $86,000 if federal funding is approved. Previous estimates hovered around $31,000.

Design work is scheduled to take place this year, and the actual construction work has been slated for next year. Dollar figures could change, but Emir estimates the total cost will come in around $213,000. With a split of 60 percent federal funds and a 40 percent village contribution, River Hills stands to pay the $86,000.

When asked why there was a discrepancy in the two figures, Emir attributed it primarily to standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation - an agency that would be part of the project if the federal funding is allowed.

"It is, in and of itself, a cumbersome and time-consuming process," Emir said of the standards.

The village has the option of going independent without the intensive WisDOT review process, but Emir's projections point to a higher cost and less bells and whistles in the construction work.

He estimated River Hills would have to shell out between $90,000 and $100,000 for the very basic work of removing old asphalt and replacing it with new material.

"We would get a very decent, high-standard project for our money," Emir said of the financial contribution route.

In addition to the standard resurfacing, the federal contribution would allow for replacing driveways that are in the village right of way and replacing catch basins. If the village were to go independent, neither work would be included in the overall project.

While board members expressed concern about the unexpected increase in the cost of the work, officials decided to follow Emir's recommendation on a 6-0 vote.

"I say we go with it," Trustee Wendy Walcott said, noting that Green Tree Road has been an issue the village has been grappling with for an extended period of time.

Because the actual construction work will not take place until next year, officials will not have to make any significant adjustments to this year's budget.

Once Village President Robert Brunner signs a document giving the go-ahead to seek federal funding, Emir will forward the request on to the state.

Gov. Scott Walker's signature will be necessary for the federal funding to be allocated.

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