The long delayed Grantsburg water project addressing and alleviating hazardous levels of manganese in village water supplies does appear to on the veritable horizon, but not quite as close as hoped. 

The project to reconstruct the Well # 3 facility meant to alleviate high manganese levels is not likely to be completed until sometime in December, according to village public works director Jerry Konobeck, who informed the board that almost all the work on an advanced filtration system is completed, with just one critical, back-ordered fitting being the missing link between activation and ultimate Wisconsin DNR approval - which will allow the well to be incorporated into the village water supply, alleviating the ‘no-drink’ advisory issued in 2019.

“We’re looking at a start-up in December,” Konobeck told the village board 

on Monday, Nov. 8. “Hopefully, it’ll be ready in early December.”

Konobeck said that the great bulk of the Well #3 work has been completed, with just one critical fitting for the filtration system being the hold-up before they can seek a DNR approval of the final project, allowing them to turn on the Well #3 taps. 

That missing fitting is reportedly “in transit,” although the Grantsburg Village Board was a little upset about the seemingly on-going delays and hold-ups. 

“We ordered the filter even before the project was approved,” stated village clerk/treasurer Sheila Meyer. “And even then, they were still late.”

“They just keep pushing us out and out,” trustee Dianne Barton said with a sigh, with several trustees suggesting they withhold a $17,000 payment to the Springlake Contractors that have led the Well #3 project.  

Konobeck said the critical fitting is the only real piece missing from the completed project, and he is not sure when it was first ordered, but that even once installed, they will still need to make sure the new system meets DNR standards before the can turn on the tap.

“It’s really just the matter of a few things,” Konobeck assured. 

The board later voted to pay the $17,000 Springlake request, although they do have a contingency of over $38,000 still withheld, as leverage of sorts until the project is completed and approved. 

“As long as we still have other payments to make, we still have a trump card,” trustee Greg Peer added.

In other village business:

• The board held a public hearing on proposed changes to the zoning code, allowing for garages and accessory structures in side yards and adjusting the 5-foot setbacks between such structure, with no comments against. The board approved the ordinance changes.

• The board approved the date and road closures for the 2022 Grantoberfest celebration for Saturday, Oct. 1, with praise from the board to the organizers and volunteers for making the 2021 event very popular, in spite of being moved downtown from the fairgrounds, as a change from the past.

• Police Chief Dan Wald reminded people to avoid street parking this winter, as they are issuing tickets.

• New library director Lynett Yoerg introduced herself and gave her first monthly report, noting some of the services the library offers beyond just books and movies, from computer terminals to research to even being considered a ‘neutral space’ for supervised visits, such as during a shared custody situation.

• The long-discussed open liquor license issue was again addressed, but no action was taken, except to delay the consideration of the open license until January, when a Dec. 21 deadline passes for Mark Harmon to be approved by the state on an event center/restaurant that has been promised, if certain deadlines are met. However, Dave Corty and Corinne Scheele again raised their objection to that promise, as they are trying to sell their building, which formerly used the license in question, as a sale to Mark Harmon fell through just before the license expired. The license issue was further clouded when Ascend Coffee also made an application for the licenses, and will be considered in January should it be unclaimed.

• After some discussion and clarification, the board approved a detailed number of changes to the ATV/snowmobile routes in the village, as they are trying to get some commonality on the routing, with maps, signage and kiosk marking being left to the clubs involved.

• The board approved contracting with S-E-H Engineering to design and lead construction on the new Industrial Park expansion on the village’s north side. The plan will include a new horseshoe-shaped road, extending utility service down Park Street to the new park, and other improvements.