Hartford Weekly update by Steve Volkert

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Administrators Update: If anyone is asked, the Park/public bathrooms have always been opened for the season the first weekend in May. That will be this weekend. The major reason for this is due to shallow utility pipes freezing and bursting when those late cold snaps happen. If someone asks you about this, now you know.

Hwy 83 project update: Note from City Engineer Jason Schall: Monday morning we had a gas line break in the construction area. The Fire Department was on-hand in the event of a bigger problem. No residents needed to be evacuated.

The DOT continues to work with local businesses to make sure that adequate signage is posted to give shoppers access to their favorite stores during construction of 83.

For the week of May 2, the contractor will continue to work on water main and storm sewer in and around the intersection of Grand Ave. and E. Lincoln Ave. The contractor will also be working on water main at the intersection of W. Washington Ave. The water main work may require the water to be shut off in order to complete. The contractor will notify affected properties 24 hours in advance of any water shut offs.

The contractor will only have one crew working on the project next week. Traffic control signage continues to be monitored and adjusted as needed. Some businesses have contacted the DOT and started having signs installed directing customers to their locations.

Also, the contractor working for WE Energies did complete the pavement and sidewalk repairs at the intersection of Hwy. 60 and Hwy. 83 this week. They completed this work on Tuesday and were hoping to open the new concrete pavement to traffic on Thursday. However, due to the colder weather, the contractor asked to keep traffic off the new concrete pavement for an extra day to allow the concrete more time to cure. The contractor will be here this morning to open the roadway and remove all of the barricades, barrels, and signage. The intersection should be back to normal by noon today.

Pool Update: Late last week, the construction crew had a meeting. All parties felt they were on pace to meet their original timeline with the exception of the pool contractors who are slightly behind in poring cement due to wet/cold weather earlier this year. At this point they feel they could still get all projects done on-time for a July 2 opening but it will be very tight.

Audit to be presented June 28: The 2015 Audit presentation is scheduled for the Council meeting on June 28. Representatives from Baker Tilly will be on hand to present our final numbers.

Library working to help new business owners: Jennifer is teaming up with HADC and the Chamber to work with MATC to provide opportunities for new entrepreneurs to possibly start their business in the available library space to eventually move to vacant storefronts in Hartford.

New radio’s being ushered in in 2017 and ’18: Former County Board Chairman Herb Tennies sent us a letter letting us know that the new radios will be ready for purchase by the individual communities in 2017 and being completely on-line in 2018. This will be a major purchase ($500k+) for the City of Hartford in the 2017, 2018 CIP.

Next Mayor’s Agenda meeting with be the last: Mayor Michalak will host the Mayor’s Agenda meeting on Thursday at the normal 5:30 p.m. time but will be doing away with this meeting in exchange for simply having Lori send out the draft agenda to the full council via email on Wednesday’s and ask for any additions that any council member would like to add to the agenda to be sent back by Thursday. Through this process, any council member can add items to the agenda while not having to take time out of their busy schedule for a short 10-minute meeting. If any council member has questions on the agenda once receiving the draft, they are urged to contact me or the authoring department head of the executive summary.

Administration presents new look to maintaining employee benefits: On Wednesday, Julie Hanrahan and I, along with representatives of our health care benefits will be conducting three meetings for all staff and retirees currently under our benefit plan on changes to our program. The key message is that through working together, the City can maintain the level of benefits we provide and offer even more options while making sure the cost to the taxpayer does not increase as a percentage of overall costs.

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