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Rhinelander ready for Kemp Street sewer project, some homeowners wishing for more noticeSubmitted: 05/20/2013

Lane Kimble
Managing Editor/Anchor
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - It often feels like there are two seasons in Wisconsin: Winter and Construction.

Drivers in Rhinelander will head into summer with a brand new construction-related headache to deal with on a major roadway.

"We're hopeful, and we'll work our best to get it to where we want it to be," city engineer Tim Kingman said.

Rhinelander city leaders think that's the mindset to take when it comes to a major construction project on busy Kemp Street. Smaller portions of the project will start in early June. That's on Bruner St. and Boyce Drive.

But drivers, get ready. When sewer work starts in the first few weeks of June on Kemp Street, you won't be going anywhere on it.

"When Kemp Street shuts down their work efforts will be focused on that street so it will be shut down for the shortest period of time possible," Kingman said. "Provided good weather and favorable conditions, we'd like to see the street open in three to four months."

Only home and business owners will have access to properties on Kemp Street once the project starts in mid-June. Other drivers will have to go around before the bridge on Sutliff Avenue or Oneida Avenue. The city says it will be well-marked.

Geremiah Young lives on Bruner Street - one of the several roads that will shut down during construction. He understands the 50-year-old sewer needs to be replaced, but he wishes the city had done a better job of notifying people.

"Give everybody letters that just inform them, 'Hey, we've got guys coming, we're going to tear up the street, just to let you know.,'" Young said.

They're walking across my lawn, marking up my yard, which I don't have a problem with, as long as they would have notified me."

City Engineer Tim Kingman thinks the city's done its part.

"We've gone out and had informational meetings and people have attended these things," Kingman said. "We're hopeful we've provided a good understanding to the general public about why and how we're doing this."

The how and why are set, now we'll only have to wait less than two weeks for work to start. Young thinks, despite the lack of communication, the city will handle the $6.3 million project just fine.

"If they learn from their mistakes and if they take care of everything they should, I don't have a problem with it," Young said.

The city plans to update progress on a regular basis. Info will be available online and via an email mailing list. To add your name to that list, please call the Public Works Department at 715-362-2728.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/29/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Merrill leaders decided not to discipline City Administrator Dave Johnson and Fire Chief Dave Savone for taking items from the Lincoln County Fairgrounds that some people considered historic and valuable. Merrill Mayor Bill Bealecki issued a statement to the media saying that although Johnson and Savone didn't violate city policy, their actions were in poor judgment. We'll hear from Johnson on what he thinks about the statement.

The Northwoods area has seen several cases of deer poaching in the last week, and most of them were not caught. But authorities recently caught two teenagers in the act thanks to neighbors in the Lakeland area. You'll hear from the Conservation Ward Supervisor on how they were caught.

And, we'll tell you about a local company that is transferring ownership to all of the employees.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - No matter the weather, a glass of wine can be enjoyed year round. Even in the bitter cold, there are wineries in Oneida County that still offer tastings and wine tours.

"When people think of a winery, they do think of grape wines. They're kind of surprised, pleasantly surprised when they come to our winery and see fruit wines," said Terri Schenck from Three Lakes Winery.

The Oneida County wineries are a little bit different than what you'd see in Napa Valley.

"It is a farm so we are working on different crops, black currants, apples and an experimental vineyard," said Linda Welbes from Brigadoon Winery in Tripoli.

With the unique flavors of wines, Three Lakes Winery and Brigadoon Winery often see a lot of visitors from out of town.

"They usually say, 'I didn't know how much I needed this.' They relax, they unwind whether it's summer time or fall, just to sit outdoors when it's beautiful, it's peaceful, it's quiet," said Welbes.

Three Lakes Winery has a lot of history behind their building. 

"The actual winery itself is an old Chicago Northwestern Train Depot that was built in 1880. There was a tornado or wind storm that happened in 1924 that destroyed the building," said Schenck.

The building was rebuilt shortly after. Every fall the winery hosts cranberry marsh tours.

"There are several bogs in the area and it's interesting for people to be able to go and see a bog and see how the cranberries are harvested and what goes into making cranberry wine," said Schenck.

With winter right around the corner, the crops won't be producing much.

"The crops, they are what they are. It's farming so there's not much you have to do and you just hope for good weather. Lots of snow cover, that helps," said Welbes.

The Three Eagle Trail runs right into the parking lot of Three Lakes Winery. That brings in a lot of traffic year-round.

"In the winter time it turns into the snowmobile trail. We will get a lot of snowmobile traffic in the winter time and a lot of foot traffic, hiking, biking people in the summer time," said Schenck.

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TOMAH - Wisconsin cranberry growers are expecting an above-average crop yield this year because of nearly ideal growing conditions.

Ed Grygleski is president of Valley Corp., a cranberry producer near Tomah in west central Wisconsin. He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it has been a great year for growing because there has been plenty of sun without extreme heat.

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EAGLE RIVER - Highway workers do a dangerous job, working alongside traffic with very little protection.  A new state law could make their jobs a little safer.

A handheld cellphone ban for work zones starts statewide Saturday.  Drivers will not be allowed to make or answer phone calls while in work zones unless they use Bluetooth or some sort of earpiece.

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STATEWIDE - City, county, and town leaders hope you Turn Out for Transportation Thursday night.  Seventy-one of the state's 72 counties will hold public forums for people to learn more about the state's transportation budget.

The idea for the forums comes from the "Just Fix It" campaign, which many counties have supported to encourage state lawmakers to find a better way to pay for roadwork.

You can find the location and time for your county's meeting via the link below.

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ANTIGO - The rain this summer put a damper on some people's outdoor plans, but it was great for potato farmers.

The rainfall made this one of best growing seasons in Wisconsin's history, but now that rainfall is delaying harvesting.

Potato growers can't dig up potatoes when they're wet because they won't store well.

But if they wait too long growers run the risk of the crops getting damaged by frost.

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APPLETON - Tuition and debt have jumped at Wisconsin's technical colleges, which are supposed to provide a more affordable option for career training than four-year universities or for-profit schools.

The Post-Crescent reports that U.S. Department of Education figures show many tech school students are facing bigger financial challenges than they were a few years ago.

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