Platteville eyes grants for street, trail projects

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — City of Platteville officials are seeking grant funds to help with street and trail projects.

Platteville Common Council members this week discussed a list of proposed projects for which to apply for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law transportation grants.

Public Works Director Howard Crofoot said the city proposes two mill and overlay projects covering roads in Industry Park for $824,060 and the Golden Heights neighborhood for $1,279,050. The city would be responsible for $165,000 in design costs, as well as 20% of construction costs, or $420,622.

The city also would need to pay for storm sewer improvements on Pioneer Road and storm sewer improvements and a water main replacement on Pyrite Road, totaling $305,000.

Council Member Ken Kilian said city streets need serious work and noted that there are streets in worse condition not included in the grant application. Council President Barbara Daus said pursuing grant funding for the proposed projects still was worthwhile.

“If we would get this grant award, I would have to say that it would help in our overall program,” she said. “It might not be the end-all-do-all, but let’s face it, we don’t know how we’re going to get (funding for all other road needs). If we get this as a grant, then that’s just that much less we have to figure out how to raise.”

The council also voted unanimously to allow staff to apply for state Transportation Alternatives Program grants for three trail projects.

The city’s first priority is upgrading Moundview Park Trail from a gravel path to a paved and lit trail, which would cost $1,560,150.

The next project would expand trailhead parking near the dog park and construct a new trail along an old rail bed to connect with existing sidewalks on East Main Street for $747,400.

Another project would include a new paved and lit trail along an old rail bed connecting an existing trail on Eastside Road near the Evergreen Road intersection to Rountree Branch Trail. It would cost $1,594,700.

If awarded, the grants would cover 80% of construction costs. Crofoot said other grants are available from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that could address more of the project costs.

“If we’re successful on both fronts, then there would be no city money for the construction portion,” he said.

Council Member Kathy Kopp was concerned about the city’s ability to pay for the projects and maintain the trails once constructed.

“The city’s portion, if you don’t get the DNR piece, is over $1 million to be pulled out of the budget somewhere,” Kopp said. “I’m not sure where that money would come from.”

Council Member Ken Kilian had similar concerns.

“If we start giving money for the construction of trails, we’re going to be cutting out and slowing down even more our construction of roads in the city of Platteville,” he said.

City Manager Adam Ruechel said that if the grant is awarded, the city could examine pros and cons of the trail projects.