By Jennifer Eisenbart
With two power line projects planned near Saint Gobain and Air Liquide on McHenry Street, two employees from We Energies were at the City Council meeting March 5 to explain the impact the projects will have on trees in the area.
Installation of new power lines and overhead electric facilities, plus the retiring of the Sheldon Street power station will begin over the next few months.
Because of that, a number of older trees will be removed. We Energies forestry expert Larry Axlen Jr. said about six to seven trees that are nearing the end of their life span will be coming down, and that We Energies has been in contact with all residents.
New power poles, which will bring power to the plants from the north at the Burlington power station, will be 40-45 feet tall.
“Everyone knows what to expect,” said Axlen. He added that smaller trees – ones that will reach a much lower maximum height than trees already in the area – will be planted.
“There should never be a hazard of a kid climbing a tree and getting into a power line,” Axlen said.
City Attorney John Bjelajac also added that the We Energies representative, Linda Sodemann, has worked with several other area communities and he considers him a true professional.
Other council business:
• The Common Council approved by unanimous vote the purchase of two 2013 marked police vehicles from Miller Motors in the amount of $26,300 per vehicle.
There were four bids submitted, all within about $475 of each other. Miller Motors was the lowest local bidder, with Kunes Country of Delavan just $23.32 per vehicle cheaper.
• The council also unanimously approved a certified survey map for J.W. Burrus of Grand Central Holdings for property at 2709 Browns Lake Drive, and a request from Chris Reesman that property on South Pine Street be directly annexed into the city.
There are no specific plans for the Browns Lake Property, but the Reesman wants to develop the property on South Pine – located directly across the street from the Wastewater Treatment Facility – and utilize city services.
• Council members asked during the Committee of the Whole meeting whether there was an update on the cost process for the crosswalk at Kwik Trip on South Pine.
Engineer Tom Foht indicated that costs had been estimated between $35,000-$37,000. When asked if Kwik Trip was still willing to foot part of the cost, City Administrator Kevin Lahner said that staff would be in contact with the owner.
“We’ll probably talk to them this week,” Lahner said. “They’ve been very willing (to help).”