The town of West Point wasted no time declaring a state of emergency Oct. 7 to expedite the process of addressing flooding across town roads.
West Point follows Roxbury in declaring a state of emergency to address the same problem. The meeting was held immediately following a public discussion with officials from both towns, the state legislature, local counties and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to explore potential solutions for rising water levels preventing residents access to their homes and flooding others.
West Point met in the Roxbury Town Hall for the meeting to both declare a state of emergency and approve an emergency bid package for work on Schoepp Road.
Due to water levels, access to businesses and residences along and near Schoepp Road is being threatened.
“Following the melt and the flooding of March 14, this area has seen absolutely no respite from high water,” said West Point Town Chairman Ashley Nedeau-Owen.
As the water levels have risen, muskrats have been forced to migrate upward, sometimes into residential properties.
“Those poor muskrats continue to look for the best spot,” Nedeau-Owen said.
The Red Cross is anticipating having to shelter locals in the future, Nedeau-Owen said.
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Although he turned to Dane County for assistance and tried to get a meeting with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Nedeau-Owen said he has not received either.
MSA Project Manager Andrew Zimmer, who will be overseeing the project, was in attendance at the meeting. Zimmer said the project has five bidders so far. The construction cost, which is only part of the overall cost, is estimated to be about $50,000.
“As of right now, the town of West Point is in a tenuous funding position,” Nedeau-Owen said.
Bedrock will be laid in the area and smooth gravel over that, which could be paved and plowed, to provide continued access for residents in the short term.
“Our hope and goal is that it will last us through the winter so we can continue to provide access to everybody,” Nedeau-Owen said. “Hopefully, the two things together will provide the access that we need at least to get us through the winter… Once things start freezing up there is almost nothing we can do to keep that road clear (and) it becomes unsafe for everybody.”
For a long term solution, Roxbury and West Point will need to jointly declare a plan of action and initiate the implementation process so others at the county and state level can begin to assist.
Nedeau-Owen said he would coordinate with the Roxbury Town Board to hold a joint meeting with them in the near future.
The West Point Town Board will meet again Oct. 10 at 7 P.M.