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Final plans set for St. Joseph fire hall addition

The town of St. Joseph board meeting Thursday, Feb. 4 featured a power point slide show from town engineers Bonestroo. The information outlined the coming addition to the fire hall.

The addition, which will be on the south side of the building, is not the only part of the building being remodeled. A unisex bathroom and shower, which is currently a requirement for fire halls, will be added to bring the building into compliance. Under the plan presented, Bonestroo estimates the total cost of the addition to be $330,000; an estimated $300,000 goes into construction costs, and the remaining $30,000 as a contingency.

Currently, the town and Bonestroo are planning to open bidding for the project on March 18 and award the project on April 1 with construction starting May 3.

New firefighters

The Town Board has accepted the applications of Joseph Boumeester and Joseph Petrucelle for positions in the St. Joe Volunteer Fire Department. After a short deliberation, the town decided to accept both applicants.

Road work

In addition to a presentation on the fire hall, Bonestroo also presented plans for this summer's roadwork schedule. There are currently three major plans for the summer, and they include road rehabilitation, reconstruction (which includes greater repairs than the rehabilitation project) and the seal coating of Valley View Trail.

The cost of the rehabilitation and reconstruction projects is estimated at $2.7 million with the seal coating coming in at $71,000. Under the presented plan, bidding would open for the reconstruction and seal coating projects on March 18, and the rehabilitation project on March 23.

The town is planning to award the projects during the normally scheduled town board meeting April 1, along with bids for the fire hall addition. Construction will tentatively start May 17. Both 60th Street and Valley View Trail will be complete in August with full construction completion by Sept. 17.

Tree removal

The town received two bids for removal of trees along the right-of-way adjacent to some of the road construction areas. Hudson-based St. Croix Tree Service came in with a bid of $17,425, and So. St. Paul Minnesota- based S&S Tree came in with $15,611.

A sticking point arose, however, when it was noted that St. Croix Tree Service would allow homeowners to keep the wood harvested from the trees near their property where trees are being removed while S&S would not.

Supervisor Kevin Moelter also raised concern with S&S Tree, as the town has done business with them before to maintain the local cemetery, although at that time the company was known by a different name. A motion was made by Moelter to accept the bid from St. Croix Tree Service, but was voted down. In a 3-2 vote, the town board accepted the bid from S&S Tree, citing cost savings to the town.

STAND presentation

A group of Somerset High School students came before the board to talk with the town about teenage drinking. Students Taking Action in a New Direction (STAND) provided a short presentation talking about the dangers of teenage alcohol consumption, and asked the board to make a pledge to discourage underage drinking, the sale of alcohol to minors, and to discourage those who would provide alcohol to minors to do so.

"After the recent events in Minnesota I don't think this is such a bad thing," said Supervisor Moelter. Town chair Theresa Johnson signed the pledge.