Rhinelander council to continue financing Stevens Street repairs
BY KEN KRALL
It’s not a done deal yet, but the Rhinelander City Council is moving closer to fixing a heavily used and badly-in-need-of-repair street.
The council Monday approved a recommendation by public works director Tim Kingman to pursue a shorter term loan to help fund a 2019 redo of Stevens Street. The street work would be done from the north end of the downtown to the Highway 8 bypass. Total cost of the project is $17.8 million.
The city has already received other federal grant and loan monies for sewer construction of close to $10 million.
For the water portion, Kingman recommended a shorter term note of 20 years at a lower interest rate of about 1 percent. Two other programs were not accepted, one of which was a longer term note at a higher rate and a grant program that likely would have delayed construction another year.
“There is virtually an eminent need for this roadway to be worked on,” Kingman said.” I do not foresee this going well if we let this go one more winter.”
Kingman says the street has provided a tremendous amount of service to the city but is in bad condition. Council member Tom Kelly said he hears much from the public about the main artery.
“The people are already screaming about Stevens Street,” said Kelly.”I think any delay beyond May of 2019 would not be a good deal.”
The council unanimously approved applying for funds from the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program. The loans combine federal grants and state funding to provide financial assistance to municipalities in the form of subsidized loans.