Several proposed LF street projects bring public comment

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
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The public commented on three of the five public hearings street projects proposed for 2012.

Richard Waddell, who lives on Seventh Avenue Southwest, pleaded with the Council to tar the now-gravel road between Eighth and 10th streets.

“I can’t take the dust,” he said, adding that he has asthma, COPD and emphysema. “It’s an improvement not only for myself medically, but an improvement for the city and property owners.”

No one voiced opposition to the project which consists of surface and utility improvements on those two blocks of Seventh Avenue Southwest. Kevin Bittner of Bolton and Menk, hired by the city to do the feasibility studies on the five proposed projects, said those two blocks were in poor conditions.

Costs are estimated costs at $142,774, with about $117,574 of that paid for by the city and $25,200 assessed to affected property owners.

The project that would extend utilities on Third Avenue Southeast for 200 feet on Eighteenth Street East behind the former Walmart building was a request made to the city. The extension would benefit the future Faith Lutheran Church. The $64,748 cost would be split between the city and property owners, at $32,374 each.

John Albaugh of Burtrum is the president of the Church Council of Faith Lutheran. He said the congregation approved of the work at the church’s annual meeting.

Utility improvements on Eighth Avenue Southwest from Eighth Street to Ninth Street, had three of the four property owners involved petitioning the city not to do the work. The project cost was estimated at $79,901, with the city picking up $67,901.

Beverly Nouis sent a letter stating her views against the surface and utility improvement project on First Street Northwest between Broadway and First Avenue, near the Cass Gilbert Depot.

This staff-initiated project had been discussed in 2010, said Bittner, and did not advance at that time. He said existing bituminous street and curb and gutter are in poor condition, as well as the sanitary sewer. He said a sanitary sewer force vein connects to the sewer line about mid-block, but has no clean-out or manhole associated with it, allowing no way to do maintenance.

Al Nouis also voiced his opposition, saying the only work that should be done is overlay on the street. He said on the 140 feet of property he owned, the curb and gutter were fine and he didn’t feel it was necessary to dig on that street.

The costs for this project are estimated at $211,194, with just under $97,000 to be assessed (46 percent). The city’s share is estimated at $114,505.

No one commented on the utility extension on the future Heron Road (old Highway 371) with surface and/or utility improvements.

This project would include not only surface and utility improvements, but also the addition of road and curb, gutter, sanitary sewer mains and sewer service lines, water mains and water service lines from a point on Heron Road and 1,183 feet north of the north right of way of Pine Avenue to about 1,636 feet east and parallel to the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad tracks north of Little Falls.

The estimated cost to the city for this project is $137,395.

The Council is considering this project as the site may be valuable to the city as a future recreation area.

This project would coincide with a Minnesota Department of Transportation request for such improvements to be made for a truck maintenance station it is planning to build.

Specifications for the projects will be developed for only those projects authorized by the Council. The Council will further discuss the projects at its Feb. 21 work session.