Basement not removed due to cost, environmental concerns
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The site of the former Kabel Auto building at 28 S. Stevens Street in downtown Rhinelander is now an empty lot after the structure above ground was demolished last month, though the foundation walls and basement flooring were not removed and disposed of as originally planned, public works director Tim Kingman reported at Tuesday’s city Finance, Wage and Salary Committee meeting.
“Our starting goal was to take a price to remove the entire foundation,” Kingman said. “Between (environmental consultant) Chris Rog and I – (he) was overseeing the project as well – we made a field decision not to remove the entire basement. Coincidentally, the building that was taken down next door did not have the foundation removed, either.”
The city received grant money to be able to tear down the building, for which a city-assigned contractor, Kautza Excavating of Birnamwood, did the demolition work. The initial contract price for the demolition work came to $67,300. However, a pay request from Jack Kautza noted $14,200 was subtracted for the work not performed with the foundation walls and basement flooring remaining.
Along with the extra cost that would have been involved with removing the foundation, Kingman noted environmental issues related to the site were also factored into not doing that work when the building was torn down on what is now an empty city lot.
“There’s some encumbrance to somebody that would come in there in the future and would want to develop a basement,” he said. “That would be more difficult for them to build, but it is really a cost of doing commercial business that we see quite often.”
For the time being, Kingman said the lot’s surface has been finished with gravel and is being fenced off. He also noted the property won’t be used over the winter with the ground allowed to settle.
“The heavy lifting has been done on it,” Kingman said.
With the total contract price for Kautza Excavating’s work now at $53,100, the committee backed a motion to pay the company $51,772.50 with a final retainage amount of $1,327.50 remaining.