Upsala to address questions on Walnut Avenue project

By Kerry Drager, Correspondent

City resident Dan Voronyak approached the Upsala City Council with questions and concerns regarding the easements needed for the 2014 Walnut Avenue Improvements Project.

Voronyak is willing to negotiate and may be willing to sell the city the 66 feet of land needed for an easement plus a small piece of land where a fire hydrant is currently located. The board is interested in working with Voronyak.

“If we can get this worked up before the water main comes in, it’ll save us a whole lot of hassle,” said Council Member Dennis Westrich.

A special meeting is scheduled for July 21 at 6 p.m. at the City Hall to discuss the Walnut Avenue Project in greater detail.

The Council discussed purchasing the building at 104 South Main Street and demolishing it to make room for additional parking. The city is in need of more parking space but another business could potentially build on that spot as well.

The cost of the demolition is a concern due to the fact that there is asbestos in the siding of the building.

“My feeling is that it’s going to cost at least $20,000 because of the asbestos,” said Westrich.

Westrich will look into possible grants and demolition costs before the board will approve the purchase of the building.

There have been several concerns in regards to the street cleaning that was done last month. Alleyways, off streets and edges were left with sand and debris after the sweeper came through.

“I wouldn’t pay them. I’d call them and tell them to come back before you pay them,” said Council Member Joan Olson.

The Council decided to pay for the street sweeping because the company claims that they do not do alleys. However, Mayor Rollie Johnson said the council will be hiring a different company to clean the streets next year.

Upsala City Council Briefs

Other business that came before the City Council included:

•Hearing that the new lawn mower is being used a lot this season and is getting the job done quickly and efficiently;

• Approving a fireworks permit for the Heritage Days Fireworks display Aug. 9;

•Learning that the Upsala Lions and American Legion made a $4,000 contribution toward the purchase of the fireworks;

• Approving the parade permit for Heritage Days;

•Hearing that the car show during Heritage Days needs to be promoted more. The Upsala Community Development Commission will be working on ways to include the event in advertising; and

•Learning that Sentence to Serve will be repainting the crosswalk on the south side of the school on Walnut Avenue. The Council also discussed putting in additional crosswalks between Paul and Kathy’s Grocery and Lange’s Gas Station and another between Lange’s Gas Station and Upsala Motors.

A special meeting has been scheduled for Monday, July 21 at 6 p.m. at the City Hall to discuss the Walnut Avenue Project in greater detail. Following the meeting there will be a public hearing that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting will be Monday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Upsala City Hall.