Blair city council approves creek bed clearing project

In hopes of preventing future flooding, the Blair city council, at its montly meeting last Tuesday, approved a project that could help water flow down Tappen Coulee Creek.

The first phase of the project was done last year, clearing trees and sediment from the portion of the creek near Broadway St., but the council wanted more work to be done further up the creek, which connects to the Trempealeau River.

Aaron Kidd of Trinity Excavating gave the council two bids, one of which he said was no longer relevant because the property owner wasn’t willing to allow the work to be done the way Kidd had bid it. 

A property owner between the fire station and the former Blair-Taylor school building opposed to Kidd removing trees to help clear the creek’s path. Because the property owner said he liked the trees for privacy, Kidd offered to have a fence installed instead. The property owner agreed, but that meant that Kidd had to re-bid the project.

The other portion of the project was along Main St., where Kidd said there was approximately 112 cubic yards of sediment material. He said removing that material would require significant time as his company would have to use a skidsteer to fill a dump truck which can only hold 16 cubic yards of material at a time. 

He investigated subcontracting the removal of the sediment, but bids came in at $33,000. The bid he provided to the council, which included removing the sediment and trees was $28,500.

The council approved the bid not to exceed that cost.

The council also discussed whether or not to open the pool or park shelters this summer.

City clerk Susan Frederixon said that she had discussions with other municipalities, one was not opening their facilities this summer and two were waiting to see what happened with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Park committee chair Wanda Cartrette said that the city had received just five applicants for lifeguard positions this summer and that she didn’t expect to receive any more. 

“We can’t open the pool with five lifeguards,” Cartrette said.

The council elected to discuss the issue more at the May 4 meeting.

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