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Tom Syfko returns as city engineer

The Hudson City Council on Monday night approved a plan to hire Tom Syfko as a part-time civil engineer for the city.

Mayor Alan Burchill had proposed the move at the council’s March 24 meeting, although Syfko wasn’t named at that time. The council authorized Burchill and Council President Rich Vanselow to interview an unnamed engineer to see if was feasible to bring him on as a contract employee.

The move followed the announcement by Foth Infrastructure and Environment that it would be terminating its contract to provide engineering services for the city as of June 30.

Burchill said a contract engineer could assist the city in the transition to a new consulting engineering firm, and do some of the work currently done by Foth at a lower price.

He announced Monday night that Syfko was the engineer that he and Vanselow had interviewed, and asked for approval to have City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick draw up a contract with him. He said Syfko would be paid in the range of $60 to $70 an hour for his services. The City Council will also have to approve the contract.

Syfko, a Hudson resident, was a consulting engineer for the city when he was with the firm Bonestroo Inc.

He has more than 35 years of experience in civil engineering, specializing in municipal services.

Responding to a question from Alderperson Randy Morrissette II, Burchill said the city will still proceed with its search for a new engineering firm.

Syfko won’t be designing or signing construction plans, he said.

Seal-coating project

The council awarded a contract to Fahrner Asphalt Sealers Inc. for the seal-coating of portions of St. Croix, Vine and Seventh streets, and Hunter Hill Road. In addition, the council approved the company’s alternate bid to seal-coat the Crest View Drive walking path from Carmichael Road to 11th Street.

Fahrner’s base bid for the street work was $150,782. The alternate bid for the walking path was $17,709. The money for seal-coating the walking path will come from the sidewalk repair fund.

Fahrner’s total bid was some $96,000 less than the only other bid, raising a question about why it was so much lower.

Public Works Director Tom Zeuli reported that the other company is based farther away, and would have had to haul material and equipment a longer distance.

Alderperson Lori Bernard said she wasn’t pleased with a Laurel Street project that Fahrner completed three years ago. She asked for a written commitment from the company to correct that problem before the city signs the contract for the new project. The council agreed to the condition.

Also Monday night, the council approved:

--Mayor Burchill’s appointment of Erin Rabideaux to the Cable TV Access Board;

--Renewal of the conditional use permit for the gas station at the Regal Car Wash, 1611 Maxwell Drive; and

--Renewal of the Hudson Booster’s lease of a city-owned storage building at the west end of St. Croix Street. The Boosters pay rent of $50 a month for the building.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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