Crews will return soon to Buffalo Lake dam project

Over the next few weeks we can be expecting to see a light crew prepping machinery at the Montello Buffalo Lake dam construction site. Weather permitting, around April 21st, crews will return to work on the site. The lake is expected to be full by Memorial Day weekend.

There is water in the downstream sections of the fish ladder. This was filled by the tail water when crews pulled the sheet pile. The DNR doesn’t expect flow from upstream until just before the fixed crest overtops, as they are 1/2 foot different. With the available snow, this should happen fast, once they shut off flow through the lock channel.


Council has visit from Rep. Joan Ballweg

The Montello City Council was visited by 41st District State Representative Joan Ballweg at their April monthly meeting. They expressed concern to her about lack of movement with the DNR on an agreement with the city to maintain Krakow Park. While an agreement has been presented by the DNR, they have cancelled multiple meetings with the city to work out some fine details. Ballweg will look into seeing what she can do to help with the matter.

Judge Peebles of the newly formed Marquette Joint Communities Municipal Court was present to request permission to change out the door on the court clerk’s office. He would like to see it changed to a half door with a shelf so that it can be fully closed when the clerk is not present. When she is there, the bottom half can serve as a barrier between the clerk and the public.

The topic was tabled due to concern over a lack of space for a mayor’s office, as the office housing the clerk is not big enough for the clerk and the mayor. Once that matter is sorted out, they will revisit replacing the door.

Alderman Bob Knickerbocker submitted his resignation from the council, effective immediately, citing health reasons. The council did not discuss his replacement. New mayor Gary Doudna and newly elected council members begin their terms at a reorganizational meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 15th.

Frank Breitenbach submitted a letter to the council from his insurance company. Britenbach currently resides in a home on commercially zoned property. The insurance company is requesting a letter from the city stating that if the home needed to be replaced, the city would allow it to be rebuilt on the commercially zoned parcel. This was also tabled, as the council wanted more information from Britenbach before proceeding.

According to Public Safety minutes read during the meeting, Aaron Curan is planning on making the building located at 70 West Montello Street into a car parts warehouse and selling them primarily online. The building is a fully posted wood frame with a brick façade. He is currently researching how to deal with the brickwork issues. He is planning on taking action once the weather gets better and he can get people to work on the building.

A total of 31 people have applied for the police officer position left open by the resignation of Colin Zeumer. The pool will be narrowed down for interviews.

A new concrete block building that is 24’x28’ will be put up in the city park near the current maintenance shed, according to Park Board minutes. The cost is $14,500. Council minutes showed that $11,000 of that will come from a CD using DNR funds previously received for park improvement. The shed will be used to house equipment and tools. It will also offer a work space for fixing items. The park employee currently has to take things home to work on them.

In other park news, a new lawnmower was purchased with a trailer. Also purchased by the City was a deicer for thawing frozen pipes.