By Patrick Slack, Staff Writer
Three road improvement projects totalling $788,900.44 were approved by the Little Falls City Council, Monday, which will be partially funded by assessments.
The projects to be done will be on Call Place and Ninth Avenue Southeast; on First Street Northwest; and on Third Street Northeast.
Council Member at Large Brian-Paul Crowder voted against the first two of three projects, saying he only wanted resurfacing done on First Avenue Northwest because the sewer and water is fine. He also felt the assessments will be a big hardship on the owners, with assessments being greater than the tax value on certain lots.
But he supported the Third Street project, saying, “Some of the sewer water has potentially collapsed, so it’s a necessity.”
Council Member Jeremy Hanfler voted against the latter of the projects once assured it was not necessary for the city to receive its bond issuance.
The Third Street Northeast vote caused some drama as it required a 7/8 vote because it was a staff-initiated project, with the final vote coming down to Mayor Cathy VanRisseghem.
After initially choosing to abstain as she had earlier in the evening because she had a medical procedure that same morning, an abstention that would have defeated the measure, VanRisseghem voted yes.
VanRisseghem added that it was a personal choice to abstain earlier in the night and she was told any effects should wear off after 12 hours, with the roads project vote coming after that time window.
“Out of all the projects, this is the one I want done the most. This is probably the worst road in town. It’s caving in. We’re going to find cars down in China one day,” said VanRisseghem.