The Sauk City village board decided to delay action on a maintenance agreement for the Great Sauk State Trail until it gets more specific language regarding the village’s financial obligation.
“I read this over, and this could be quite expensive for the village,” board member Steve Haag said. “If you go through this, you’re talking a lot of time, very possibly, taking care of all the maintenance items listed on here. I’m not saying it’s a daily thing or even a weekly thing, but it is certainly a monthly thing.”
Board member Richard Marks said the board didn’t have to agree to anything yet.
“One thing that I would like to see in there is what are the Wisconsin Trail Maintenance Standards,” said Sauk City Village Administrator Vicki Breunig. “Because it says in here, ‘You shall perform all trail maintenance in accordance with Wisconsin statute, the administrative code and Department of Natural Resources.’”
“I’m not saying some of this stuff is going to happen in the first year,” Haag said. “But eventually you are looking at … a very considerable cost to our maintenance budget.”
MSA representative Brian Kehrli said another thing to consider is the Highway 12 trail.
Haag said he just saw a Madison crew filling cracks in the trail.
“Yeah, and I think that’s about the first time they’ve done that,” Kehrli said.
“I agree,” Haag said. “There is going to be some of this stuff (on the maintenance agreement) that I don’t think some of our crew can handle.”
Marks said the county would fix cracks and do some of the repair work.
“You’ve got to remember guys, we’ve got the trail in,” he said. “So somewhere along the lines it’s got to be taken care of. We’re hoping to collect money off the trail, and if we are going to do that, we’re going to have to be diligent about collecting money from the trail. They are connecting this to Devil’s Lake; that’s going to be a big money thing coming in. Pavement and things like that are major repairs and the county has agreed they would take care of that.”
Seventy percent of sales from trail passes sold in town will go toward trail maintenance in the villages. So far, the village has sold 27.
Marks said the trail commission would receive 75 percent of revenue from trail passes sold at Devil’s Lake State Park.
Breunig said the village doesn’t have as much to maintain as Prairie du Sac, because much of Sauk City’s trail goes through a residential area, which the village already maintained. Prairie du Sac’s trail portion runs largely through a wooded area along the river.
“We are going to have to fork over some money,” Haag said. “We’ve got budget stuff coming up and us having to do this stuff, we’re going to have to look at budgeting money for it, don’t you think?”
“I think you would have to put some money in, but not very much and not right now,” Marks said. “Quite honestly, I feel lucky with this. We could be Prairie du Sac on the other side. They really do have a lot more maintenance.”
Marks said the county has agreed to repair or replace asphalt.
“But we don’t really have that in the agreement,” he said.
“No, we don’t, and that’s one of the biggest things we need to start pushing to ask for,” Haag said.
Anderson said they need to have better verbiage in the agreement so there is a better understanding.
“And you know, they said this is going to be one of the most used trails in the state of Wisconsin, but does that mean everybody is going to buy their pass from us,” Anderson said. “I can buy a pass here and go someplace else. So there is no guarantee that it being the most used is going to generate the most income for us.”
In other board news, construction of well house four in the village of Sauk City is moving along, according to MSA representative Brian Kehrli. Crews are currently working on masonry for the building, and the generator is on site. The generator is designed to kick in should the village be without power. Sauk City Village Administrator Vicki Breunig told the board the village’s well can handle the village of Prairie du Sac’s well also, if Prairie du Sac ever loses power. Breunig said Prairie du Sac’s well can do the same for Sauk City.
During the meeting Breunig also shared her view of the Sauk Hop Wine Walk held Sept. 7. “It was fun; it was a great thing for downtown,” Breunig said. Board member Steve Haag said friends who attended the event “absolutely enjoyed themselves.”