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City Engineer Jason Lietha provided a brief update on 2018 street projects at the Oct. 3 city council meeting at city hall. Lietha said the city will hold public information meetings starting in mid-October.

KEVIN DAMASK kdamask@wiscnews.com

As Columbus looks to complete its large street renovation projects for the season, city officials continue to field questions from local residents.

Paula Steiner addressed the city council at its Oct. 3 meeting in city hall concerning street work outside her home along James Street.

“Sod was put down on our side of the road and after the increase in the heat, it dried out,” Steiner said. “I did see a truck come through with a very big water gun, and I’m going to use that term fairly loosely, with water and I’m just wondering what the intended maintenance of the sod will be because that’s an investment and right now it looks really bad.”

Steiner, who said she was at the meeting on behalf of her neighbors, also questioned how the city will handle snowplowing along her neighborhood this winter since the terrace along James Street is narrow, which could affect plowing.

“There are concerns that when the plows come through that all the snow from the street will end up leaking back into the sidewalk,” Steiner said. “I’m wondering if anything will be done to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Steiner also claims the city made a verbal promise to offer residents along James Street a tree allowance to reimburse them for trees removed during the renovation work. Steiner said she hasn’t heard from the city regarding the allowance.

“What is the timeline? What requirements do we have to meet?” Steiner said.

Columbus Mayor Michael Thom thanked Steiner for addressing the board and told her to contact City Administrator Patrick Vander Sanden with her concerns.

“Most of these questions can be easily answered by him,” Thom said. “We’re not going to have a back-and-forth debate about it, but these are all issues that have been discussed to a certain degree.”

Work along James Street should be completed by the end of October. For updates on the project, go to askjames1660.com.

Robbins appointed to commission

Thom appointed Greg Robbins to the city’s Water and Light Commission during the Oct. 3 meeting. Robbins will continue his work on the commission for another five-year term. Council members approved the appointment.

Columbus softball dugouts approved

Council members approved a request from the Columbus Softball Association to construct dugouts and erect a scoreboard for diamond No. 2 and the building of a flag pole at diamond No. 1, both located at Meister Park.

CSA representative Jim Rake made a pitch for the park renovations at the Sept. 19 Committee of the Whole meeting and said the organization would pay for the improvements.

“I really feel like this is a no-brainer at this point,” Thom said. “We extend many thanks to Jim and the CSA for their efforts and we appreciate the donations and improvements to our parks.”

2018 street work update

City engineer Jason Lietha said the city is finalizing plans for next year’s street work and will hold three informational meetings for public input.

Lietha said the first meeting will take place in a couple weeks, with two subsequent meetings in late November and early January. The first meeting will inform residents about the project’s initial steps since much isn’t known about it at this point.

“Shortly after the last public information meeting, we would be looking to advertise the project for bids,” Lietha said.

Step and railing added to East James

The city approved adding a step to the terrace along East James Street, along with the potential of including a railing.

The railing will be paid for by the city to increase safety in that area in conjunction with the step.

City updates

According to Vander Sanden, Columbus plans to hire a new clerk, along with a director of planning and development.

“We’ve had about nine applicants for the director position and it’s looking pretty good so far,” Vander Sanden said.

Thom reminded residents that leaf pickup will begin the week of Oct. 9 and will run through Nov. 17. Brush pickup ended the week of Oct. 2.

Contact Kevin Damask at 608-963-7323 or on Twitter @kdamask