Richfield, companies reach agreement on road
Road will stay open with 10-year deal


Oct. 21, 2014

RICHFIELD — Five companies have agreed to pay the village a total of $20,000 a year over 10 years to help pay for maintenance of Pioneer Road to keep the road open for truck traffic.

On Thursday night, the Village Board unanimously approved accepting the agreement, which Village Administrator Jim Healy said was a good deal for the village and the businesses that are taking part. The deal, in effect, renews an earlier 10-year agreement that seven companies had with the village that expired in 2011.

“The agreement will pay for maintenance to keep Pioneer Road open from Highway 175 to Highway 41,” Healy said. “The seven businesses agreed in the earlier 10-year deal to pay $1,000 annually to the then town for maintenance of the road. Since that agreement expired in November 2011, only five of the original seven businesses are still actively operating.”

Healy said the companies taking part in the agreement are Wissota Sand and Gravel Co., Schmitz Ready Mix Inc., Pioneer Plaza LTD., Payne and Dolan Inc., and Zignego Ready Mix Inc..

Healy told the board Sept. 11 that village staff set up a meeting with the businesses to gauge their interest in renewing the road pact.

“The staff was able to come to terms on new contribution amounts from each of the businesses present which will tentatively total $20,000 annually and be paid to the village in January of each calendar year,” Healy said.

Board members agreed the road is a transportation corridor, which is an important freight route.

“These businesses and the village are very fortunate they have agreed to renewing this agreement to help provide funding for the maintenance and repair of this segment of roadway,” Village President John Jeffords said.

Healy said as part of the agreement the village will continue to lobby state officials to provide additional mechanisms to provide funding to help maintain important corridors for truck transportation.

One possible source of funds, Healy said, was the Surface Transportation Program — Freight initiative which allocates federal funds to complete projects that improve freight connections. STP-Freight is a new two-year pilot initiative for fiscal years 2014-15.

“The STP-Freight initiative encourages economic development by focusing on connections to major transportation corridors (example is highways 41/45),” Healy said. “In 2013, the village applied for these grants and was unsuccessful in receiving funding. Grant disbursement for the southeast region was limited to Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee. All indications point to this grant program being renewed, so there is an opportunity for the village to apply again — which we would have every intention of doing.”

The board directed village staff to work with Washington County, state legislators and other stakeholders on long-term solutions to these and other transportation issues.

In other business, Healy advised the board that the village had applied for grant money from the state as part of the Urban Non-Point Source Planning Program. The village had applied to receive $35,000.

“Not only was our grant application competitive, we are actually in a position to receive our full funding request from the DNR of $85,000 to be disbursed over the next three to four years,” Healy said.

The money will be used to address the problem of nonpoint source pollution.