The improvements scheduled for the North Street and Main Street intersection in the Village of Poynette will move forward.

An update was provided by Village Administrator Martin Shanks during the village board’s committee of the whole meeting May 26.

Last year, the village and school district jointly funded a traffic study for the intersection, with the final study recommending various improvements for pedestrian safety.

Those improvements include a three-way stop, additional crosswalk painting, installation of ADA accessible curb cuts and ramps, traffic striping, and pedestrian beacons/signage as necessary.

The village board forwarded the study and recommendations to the Columbia County Highway Commission for review. The intersection is on a county highway (CS/Q) and the county has final jurisdiction on any changes to the intersection. In March, the county highway commission indicated approval for all items outlined by the study and directed the highway commissioner to draft a memorandum of understanding between the county and village formally approving the improvements.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission has not met recently, and the MOU has not made it out of their approval process yet,” Shanks said in a memo to the board. “The commission will likely approve the MOU over the coming months, which will be provided back to the village board for approval. Once this is approved, the village can take any steps outlined in the MOU to make improvements to the intersection.”

The village budgeted $15,000 for intersection improvements in 2020 according to Shanks.

The village engineer will review the intersection and draft the appropriate plans before proceeding with the work.

Shanks said the school district will be constructing and completing the sidewalk connection on the west side of Main Street as part of their overall elementary school project.

In other news, there was also an update provided to the board on the property located at 374 South Street in regards to an attempted inspection to determine if it meets the threshold for razing or repair under state statute definitions.

According to Shanks, several attempts to contact the property owner failed, so he worked with the village attorney to get a special inspection warrant from the circuit court.

“This was successful and General Engineering was able to complete an inspection on the home on May 4,” Shanks said. “The property owner did get in contact with the inspector prior to this date and attended the inspection.”

The inspector noted that the home is a candidate for repair and that an additional structural inspection should be completed — which was done May 21. The village also pursued a raze or repair order, which requires the property owner to repair the home within a certain timeline and address the issues identified in the order.

Also at the COW meeting, with the completion of the new elementary school, it was decided by the board to provide one crossing guard in the area, with final approval to be considered at June 8 meeting.

There is still plenty of time ahead of the 2020-21 school year to review funding and hire someone for the position. The school district would also provide a crossing guard.

It was also decided that the board intends to sell the old water tower property once final inspections are done on the site.

The property is designated as a single-family residential in the village’s comprehensive plan.

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