When discussing much-needed repairs for Pleasure Island Road serving two Northland Pines School District school buildings, Eagle River City Council members displayed their frustration about fixing the road at the council meeting last week.

Suggestions from the council included abandoning the road and requesting the school district to use an access road from McKinley Boulevard, returning it to gravel or just doing nothing at all to the road that runs from the intersection of highways 45 and G to the intersection of Highway 45 and Airport Road. 

Councilman Jerry Burkett stated the substandard road serves a lot of people throughout the school and showed his frustration about the situation. 

“I’m one step closer to making a motion to close and abandon it, but I won’t make that motion without the school being here,” said Burkett. “We can’t afford $1 million for that road. We looked for grants and there were none, not even from the ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ program. The school says it’s our problem, so let’s eliminate the problem. They can come off McKinley.”

Mayor Jeff Hyslop also suggested several options.

“We can return it to gravel or just go back to what we’ve already decided and that’s not to do anything,” said Hyslop.

City Administrator Joe Laux also appeared frustrated because he said the city has sought grants for the repair.

“I’m not sure what our next steps are,” said Laux. “It continues to deteriorate on the south end. We’ve applied twice for discretionary grants and have been turned down twice.”

The city has repaved short portions of the road on the north end, but the south end of the road around the World Championship Derby Track Complex and to the Eagle River Golf Course maintenance building  is very damaged.

In the end, the council directed that a letter be sent to the Northland Pines School District asking for a joint meeting with only one topic — Pleasure Island road.

Meanwhile, three bids for West Bond, East Burnett and North Dyer streets projects were revealed last week, including expanding the parking lot at the T-Dock public boat landing and park.

Pitlik & Wick Inc. had the low bid of $684,356, followed by A-1 Excavating at $732,718 and FA Industrial Services at $907,372.

The council approved a funding resolution and chose interim financing from River Valley Bank at 3.15%, the lowest from five banks. The city will receive a $321,300 grant toward this project.

Other business

In other business, the council accepted a dividend check from the Wisconsin League of Municipalities from representative Bill Barnes for $13,131 to be divided with the Light & Water Department and Eagle River Union Airport.

The council approved the recommendation of the Plan Commission for a 4,000-gallon waste oil holding tank for heating.

The council also approved the Plan Commission recommendation to reject the application of Kurt Schels for a rental center and laundromat at 229 E. Wall St. The council authorized the city administrator to issue a citation, if necessary, for noncompliance.

After an injury to a golf course employee, the council approved a safety evaluation at a cost of $900 per day.

Looking ahead to multiple elections in 2020, the council approved repairing the sidewalk along city hall, costing $10,540, with American Eagle Concrete doing the work. The sidewalk will be reduced from 8 feet to 6 feet.

A request for a dumpster at Riverview Park from Northwoods Share resulted in an offer from Burkett to donate the $150 cost.

After a discussion with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation over who is responsible to clean the debris and snow on islands along Highway 45 in the city, the city council was given a one year notice from the state that the city would be responsible.

The city approved developing a federal grant for up to $515,000 for installation of a new electrical transformer, along with $4,500 to write the grant.