The city of Barron is still in the early stages of getting financial help from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, according to Liz Jacobson, city administrator.
The city is waiting to hear whether or not FEMA will allow it to be officially registered with the federal agency, she said Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.
“Once (the application is) approved, we will be assigned a FEMA liaison who works through the request for funds process,” Jacobson said. After the request is approved, the city will have 60 days to provide FEMA with all its federally-required cost documentation, she added
Some of those costs are still being paid, according to Dave Hanson, street superintendent.
In the storm’s aftermath, the city hired a crew from Chippewa Falls to process tree branches, brush and related debris at a site next to Wayside Cemetery and in the municipal yard, just east of 14th Street.
“The brush (at the city yard) is going to be ground up again, probably in early November,” Hanson said Friday, Oct 4.
“The brush that has already been ground is being hauled away from the cemetery site,” he added.
“We have some pines yet to clean up in the cemetery, along with numerous stumps which might have to wait till freeze up with all the rain we have had.”
Some of the worst damage was done in the Rockman’s Woods area, a 40-acre site just south of the Barron High School campus.
The property is owned by Barron County, and the County Board approved a motion earlier this summer to have downed trees logged out.
That is an ongoing process that has also been delayed by wet weather and mechanical problems, according to information from John Cisek, county forester, and Tyler Gruetzmacher, county conservationist and member of Barron Area Nordic Trail Association.
Cisek said Oct. 4 that the county hired Chippewa Falls-based Goettl Logging to work in Rockman’s Woods.
Two pieces of heavy equipment showed up in September to start working in the woods, including a harvesting machine that cuts the trees and a “forwarder,” used to transport harvested wood to the edge of the property, where it can be loaded onto trucks for transportation.
What needs to be removed “is mainly red oak and sugar maple with some basswood, pine, and red maple,” Gruetzmacher said Oct. 4.
Cisek said that barring further weather-related delays, he hoped the project would be completed in December.
In the meantime, the cross-country ski trails have been closed in Rockman’s Woods. Some of the trails double as part of the high school’s cross-country running course. That course was re-routed before the logging began.
In the meantime, the Barron Area Nordic Trail Association is hoping to get the trails up and running again by the time winter weather arrives.
“Our plan is to grade the trails this fall after the logging,” Gruetzmacher said. The club would “then reconstruct the trails in the spring to create a more durable trail system with grass cover,” he added.