Swanville’s water project moving forward

By Liz Verley, Staff Writer

To improve water service to numerous Swanville residents, the City Council took action to move its proposed Rhoda Avenue project forward.

Tuesday, prior to their regular meeting, council members walked through the proposed project with Mike Rude and Mark Hallen from Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN). Following the walk-through the Council approved passing a resolution applying for financing for the project with the Department of Health.

The mayor also signed a confirmation to meet and comply with all regulations on the project and to comply with state and federal laws pertaining to the project.

Swanville’s request to be put on the Public Financing Authority’s 2013 Intended Use Plan (IUP) has previously been approved. The city is eligible to receive a loan of approximately $1.2 million to replace existing water main, services and fire hydrants as part of the continuing work to replace the water distribution system constructed in 1930-1931.

The preliminary estimated project cost, as presented by Michael Rude from WSN, is 851,000 – Rhoda Avenue; $220,000 – Fifth Street; $133,000 – Third Street and $51,000 on Second Street This includes money for the construction and project contingency fund and engineering, administrative, legal, bonding and interest costs.

Costs for the project are divided between benefited property owners and the city, using the city’s policy.

According to the policy, assessment rates have been set at streets and storm water (per front foot) at $25; water main replacement (per front foot) $15; water service replacement (each) $250; residential sidewalk replacement (per front foot) $6; and commercial sidewalk replacement (per front foot) $10.

If the Council decides to move forward with the project, at its May meeting it will call for bids which will be opened in June with work beginning after the Fourth of July and completed sometime during September. Final commitment to move into the project will not be until bids are accepted by the Council.

A final assessment hearing will be held near the end of the construction. In connection with the project, the Council also had to decide whether residents and businesses along the project would have to hook up to the city’s services. The services will be brought up to all property the adjoining property and curb stops for would be installed.

Council Member Jim Molitor said, “I think everyone should have to hook up.”

Councilman Tim Grittner agreed. He said, “Everyone should have to pay for it.”

A motion to have everyone connect to the system passed on a 4-0 vote. Businesses must connect to the service within two years and residences must connect within five. This would include all residences throughout the city, not just those along the proposed project.

Swanville City Council Briefs

In other business, Tuesday, the Swanville City Council:

• Continues to seek names of interested residents of the city to fill the remaining two years of the seat left vacant when Council member Jim Piekarski passed away. The Council will appoint someone from those applying to fill the position until the next regular election. At that time if the appointee is interested in remaining on the Council, they must file to have their name on the ballot. Those interested should contact the city clerk, mayor or council members. Piekarski had served on the Council since 1992;

• Reminded residents that dogs are not allowed to run at-large within the city limits. They must be confined or on a leash. Those running at large will be picked up;

• Awarded a three-year contract to Waste Management to pick up the refuse and recycling in the city;

• Set the city’s annual cleanup day for May 4;

• Gave Council Member Jim Molitor the responsibility to seek bids for the replacement of the lawn mower and to award the bid as he sees fit; and

• Was reminded that the city’s Board of Appeal and Equalization has been set for Tuesday, April 16, at 2 p.m. at the senior center.

The next regular meeting of the Swanville City Council will be held Tuesday, May 7.