In October, the Lodi Public Works and Utilities Committee discussed putting an electric vehicle (EV) charging station at Bushnell Ford, at no cost to the city. However, an easement was needed due to the charging station going on private property.

At its Nov. 2 meeting, the Committee approved the charging station, along with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the easement. It also wondered about potential liabilities. Director of Public Works Terry Weter had not heard from legal about liabilities, but he noted that liabilities would fall on the property owner, currently Bushnell Ford.

Weter added that the project will be fully funded through WPPI Energy, and Bushnell Ford would fund an extra $2,000 that would go toward any non-use of the charging station for five years. The maintenance agreement will also be paid by WPPI for three years. The charging station would be owned by the city.

If Bushnell Ford were to sell the property, the city has the right to disconnect the charging station and move it to a different location. The MOU is between Bushnell Ford and the city. Approval was needed for the charging station by Dec. 15 in order to receive the WPPI funds this year.

Sauk Street project

Sauk Street in Lodi isn’t due to see construction until around 2025, but City Engineer for Lodi Andy Zimmer provided some more information at the Nov. 2 meeting on what the city, and public, could expect.

The city was awarded $500,000 in funds from the state for the project, provided through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) and Municipal Street Improvement Discretionary (MSID). The street, storm sewer and asphalt trail are all eligible costs for the funds.

The parts of the project not eligible for those funds are the sanitary sewer and water main improvements.

Zimmer said that there was discussion on slightly narrowing the road from 40 feet to 37 feet wide, which would allow for sidewalks or an asphalt trail on either side of Sauk Street. If sidewalks are the chosen option, it would weave through some locations along Sauk Street as to avoid needing to replace some retaining walls that are in good shape.

Another important element to the project, according to Zimmer, is addressing the safety improvements needed as Sauk Street intersects with Lodi Street. The Committee discussed a pair of options for that intersection — and island or a roundabout.

The Committee eventually decided that the island option would be more fiscally responsible and does not require the need to acquire land from neighboring property owners.

Also as part of the project, a three-phase power pole will need to be moved underground — an estimated cost of $100,000. The entire project is estimated to cost about $1.4 million.

The Committee instructed Zimmer to move forward with the island design for the Sauk Street-Lodi Street intersection. Zimmer added that a public forum should be held sometime in February or March of next year, which would allow the affected, and neighboring, property owners to ask questions and have discussions about the possible impacts of the project.

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