The Waunakee Village Board approved borrowing for 2020 road and park improvements and refinancing of bonds at lower interest rates at its April 6 meeting.
Initially, the board had anticipated borrowing $9,995,000. But working with Todd Taves of Ehlers Associates, it was able to reduce the debt to $9,620,000 because of lower interest rates. It reduces to the costs for street projects by $87,000, the cost for park projects by $37,000 and includes savings on the refinanced bonds.
The village received eight bids on the sale day for the bonds, with Piper Sander of Minneapolis offering the lowest with an interest rate of 1.7897 percent.
Taves called the number of bids “great, considering market conditions.”
Also, Moody’s affirmed the village’s current Aa2 credit rating.
“This is a nice situation happening for us at kind of a down time as a community and a country,” Village President Chris Zellner said about the bid.
The borrowing will help cover the cost for nearly $2 million in road construction this summer. The village board approved a contract with Payne and Dolan for projects at Reeve Street, William Way, Henry Street, Rupert Road, Centennial Parkway, Bristol Drive, Kearney Way, South Street intersections, Verleen Avenue and Parkview Circle with a project cost of $1,689,057. Additional projects approved bring the cost to $1,997,904.
One additional project was an alternate bid to reconstruct half of Elizabeth Street as recommended by Village Engineer Kevin Even.
Even also recommended a fix for the Woodland Drive humps. Initially, repairs to those humps were attempted in 2018 but were unsuccessful. Last fall, a second repair was attempted when the humps were removed, and a Michigan Joint was installed. The road has been improved since then. Even said when the asphalt was uncovered, recycled concrete was found with cement, and he believes this caused heaving.
Even suggested similar repairs be made to the other humps, at a cost of $102,000 to be split with the Town of Westport. The alternative would be to reconstruct the roadway and remove the subbase at an estimated cost of $450,000.
Village President Chris Zellner said only nine months had passed since the second repair was made and asked whether more repairs will be necessary along with more costs.
Even said the road failures usually occur in winter and spring. He noted that this repair may not have more than a three- to five-year lifespan, but the village will have to budget for a complete reconstruct. Even explained that originally, the project was part of a federal grant requiring Department of Transportation specs be used.
Asked if the Town of Westport had already approved the Woodland Drive project, Even said it was on the agenda for the town’s meeting at 7 p.m. The town board approved the project, and Waunakee trustees voted unanimously in favor of the Woodland Drive repair.
The board also approved $21,000 for sidewalk replacement projects. Homeowners where sidewalks are in need of repair for safety reasons will receive notice. They can either replace the sidewalks themselves, or the village contractor will replace them and assess them at half the cost.