RIVER FALLS — Nearly $95,000 in repairs are needed after leaks developed this spring on the roof of the building that will become the new police station.

The city issued $5.74 million in general obligation bonds for the building addition and remodel project in June. The project was estimated at $4.5 million, not including the roof repairs, the extent of which were unknown at the time, according to a staff report.

City Council voted unanimously Sept. 22 to increase the project cost by $94,749 for roof repairs by Eau Claire-based Dell Construction. The additional costs will come from the fund balance.

Leaks were discovered on the edges of the roof during the spring snowmelt. Staff worked with a roofing contractor and determined ice dams caused ponds to form that were too deep for the flashing and seals.

A synthetic rubber called EPDM will be installed along the roof edge and over the parapet wall.

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The building at 2815 Prairie Drive on the north end of town has had multiple roof repairs over several years to fix isolated leaks, the staff report states.

The city signed a purchase agreement and closed on the building in 2019. It was previously owned by Forum Communications Company, parent company of RiverTown Multimedia and the former River Falls Journal newspaper.

In other news…

  • Mike Noreen was appointed as the city’s part-time forester by unanimous vote. He will replace Nate Croes, who is relocating out of the state. Noreen, the city’s conservation and efficiency coordinator, will split his work time evenly between the two roles. The council also approved a request by Noreen to apply for a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant for emerald ash borer mitigation efforts in 2021.
  • City Council held the first reading of a rezoning ordinance and land-use amendment for a proposed two-story townhouse on South Wasson Lane by local developers Ron Raedeke and Susan Loomis. The 1.33 acre site is currently zoned for low-density, single-family use. The area was marked for future public/institutional use in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan because of expected expansion by Chippewa Valley Technical College immediately to the south; however, the school is expected to expand toward East Cascade Avenue instead, according to a staff report. Staff recommended amending the future land-use map to designate the site for medium-density residential development. The Plan Commission recommended approval of the rezoning and map amendment on Sept. 1.