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Council Discusses Haydn Street Crossing Closure, Other Items

At last night’s Prairie du Chien city council meeting…

…the council approved transferring nearly $21,000 from the Boat Launch Fees Fund to complete the financing for the Washington Street Park improvement project. The transfer would leave roughly $65,000 in the boat launch fund. City Administrator Aaron Kramer says they anticipate $30-35,000 in revenue from the fees in 2014. Kramer said the fund will next be used to make upgrades to the Villa Louis boat landing in 2015 and 2016, and then possibly improvements to the Marina boat landing. He said once those projects are done, city staff would propose a reduction to the boat launch fees.

The city of Prairie du Chien wants to negotiate with the Town of Bridgeport about maintenance and future operations of the water and sewer service to the new Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital site. Aaron Kramer is proposing the city and the town merge the water and swewer utitlities under one utility, which would eliminate the need for two new meter buildings. Recently, the Public Service Commission issued a ruling that the city should install two meter buildings, at an estimated cost of $142,000. The city is appealing that ruling.. City staff said that cost would either be assessed to the hospital or passed on to the city residents, resulting in a likely rate increase request.

The city council has decided not to appeal the Commissioner of Railroads decision to close the Haydn Street railroad crossing. City Attorney Tom Peterson told the council that an appeal would cost in the range of $15-25,000. The council denied filing an appeal on a 7-3 vote. The idea of developing a funding plan in order to consider proceeding with an appeal didn’t receive much support either, failing on a 4-6 vote.   Keith Coburn, co-owner of Frazier’s Old Faithful Inn, said that he was planning to move forward with an appeal. His business would likely see the biggest impact in the closing of the Haydn Street crossing.