The days are numbered for the Birney Street Ravine in Lake Delton.
The ravine, located on village-owned property stretching north from a vacant lot east of the intersection of North Birney Street and West Adams Street, soon will begin receiving dirt fill that will transform it from a storm sewer drainage area into flat, buildable land.
The Lake Delton village board recently voted to approve a plan in which 60,000 cubic yards of dirt will be transported from construction underway at Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, trucked to the ravine deposited there.
The board approved a low bid of $790,050 from Baraboo-based Allen Steele Co. to truck the dirt from the Kalahari construction site to the ravine. The approval vote included purchase of the dirt for $3 a cubic yard from Kalahari, village trustees confirmed during the meeting.
The resort and convention center recently announced and began construction on a major expansion of its convention center facilities, and the initial work on the expansion’s site included the earth-moving project now underway.
“We’re improving the village’s land,” Lake Delton village attorney Richard Cross said following the board meeting. “We got a great deal from Kalahari on the fill, and it’s good for the village, good for Kalahari and good for everybody.”
Once the ravine is filled in and the property around it cleared, the village will own “two or three acres of buildable land” there, Cross said.
Last summer the village received long-sought Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources permission to fill the ravine, permission trustees and village citizens alike hoped would be part of a proposed grocery store at the intersection of Dells Parkway and Wisconsin Highway 23.
A developer’s plans for a new grocery store and gas station were virtually scuttled in mid-May at the news of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation requirement of $2.5 million in roadway improvements for the project to be approved at the proposed site.
With the DNR approval in hand, however, the village decided to move ahead with the ravine-filling effort, especially with the opportunity for inexpensive dirt with which to fill it.
Village engineer John Langhans told the board the dirt transportation and fill effort probably would take place “closer to the end of November or early December,” with a goal of the fill’s completion by Jan. 30.
The land around the ravine will be cleared of trees and brush before then, Langhans said.