Elkhorn council approves cost sharing of Petrie Road bridge repairs

By Kellen Olshefski


City of Elkhorn councilmembers recently voted 6-0 in favor of paying a $5,203 invoice for its shared cost of bridge repairs to the Petrie Road bridge that goes over Jackson Creek.

According to a memo provided to the council from Elkhorn Department of Public Works Operation Manager Matthew Lindstrom, the city recently received the invoice. He said it details cost sharing for the total amount of the repairs and engineering inspection for the bridge with the Town of Geneva, split evenly between the city and town.

In his memo, Lindstrom said Elkhorn officials weren’t aware – or made aware of – any deficiencies with the bridge that warranted repairs.

He said as all of Wisconsin’s bridges are inspected at least once every two years, as required by the Wisconsin DOT. Lindstrom said he requested and received the most recent report dated Aug. 20, 2020, which had been compiled by Ayres Associates, who completed the inspection.

Lindstrom’s memo reveals that the report described a few repair items as both medium and high priority. His memo also explained that the recent repairs performed – and invoiced to the city – appear to only have addressed the high priority items, such as concrete surface repair and the installation of drip edges.

Lindstrom said at last week’s Sept. 7 meeting he went out and took a look at the repairs on the bridge, which is a shared right-of-way between the city and town. He said it appeared that only the high priority needs that were repaired, though Lindstrom hadn’t received a return phone call from the Town of Geneva with further details as of that time.

City of Elkhorn Administrator James Heilman said while the town should have gone through the procedure to inform the city what it was doing, the work is already completed and the city has an obligation to pay its share.

Lindstrom said it would be good to talk with town officials, because the town is receiving the DOT reports on the bridge as it’s considered the maintaining authority. He said it would be good to determine what the town’s future plans are for the Petrie Road Bridge.

A motion to approve paying the invoice for the bridge repair was approved unanimously by the council, but not without a stipulation attached.

In making his motion, Alderman Scott McClory requested the city send the Town of Geneva a letter explaining that the in the future, the city won’t pay for repairs on any project that affects both the city and township unless it has been reviewed and approved by the council ahead of time.

McClory also added that if there are recommendations for additional repairs to the bridge in question, he would like to see those provided to the council as soon as possible, even if those repairs aren’t slated to be completed until further down the road.

Councilmembers also gave City Attorney Ward Phillips authorization to contact the town and negotiate the memorandum of understanding to ensure this type of situation doesn’t happen again in the future.



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