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Emergency action taken to fix county salt sheds

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Darryl Enriquez
July 21, 2011
— The Walworth County Board on Wednesday approved an emergency measure to allow the quick repair of two salt sheds with $800,000 in damages from the windstorm last week.

Shane Crawford, county public works director, said the board’s declaration means repairs can progress without the county first getting competitive bids from companies that want to do the repairs.


State law requires that expenditures as large as the salt shed repairs can be done only after bids are taken from companies. In emergencies cases, governments are allowed to skip the time consuming process provided repairs are required immediately.


With about 30,000 tons of winter road salt arriving by mid-August, Crawford said the sheds had to be ready quickly for storage.


The damaged sheds are in the public works yards off of Highway NN in Elkhorn. Crawford said a camera mounted in the yard captured the sheds being damaged by the storm.


The storm, which boasted winds measuring 60 to 80 mph, knocked down trees and power lines throughout Walworth County. It destroyed a barn in Darien and felled 40 trees at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan.


Crawford said the county will hire the firm that built the sheds, Dome Corp. of North America, based in Saginaw, Mich., to do the repairs. Work should be complete before the county’s salt order arrives, Crawford said.


“I was kind of panicked last week that the (delivery) trucks would start rolling in and the salt sheds would not be ready,” he said. “My biggest concern was having the necessary capacity to store salt.”


Each shed hold 14,000 tons of salt. The rest is stored in two smaller satellite sheds, he said.


“We pack the sheds to the hilt,” Crawford said.


Wind caused the paneling of one shed to collapse into the structure. The roof of the other shed was lifted from its foundation, damaging electrical utilities attached to it and adjacent buildings before setting back down, Crawford said.


The $800,000 in repairs is covered by insurance, but the county must pay a $5,000 deductible, he said.



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