Swanville demands topsoil be brought in for Rhoda Avenue

By Kerry Drager, Correspondent

Swanville residents along Rhoda Avenue continue to voice their concerns on the quality of the grass that is growing on the new boulevard.

In June, the City Council agreed to withhold payment to Larson Excavating until a list of items were repaired or completed from the 2013 water and sewer project. One of these items was to rework the grass that was planted in the boulevard. Residents have confirmed that a few gentlemen from the company have been reseeding, watering and spraying fertilizer on bare spots, but there continues to be large areas where grass is not growing and large chunks of rock remain in the soil.

A lack of black dirt is causing the bare spots. The individuals working the grass have been raking the spots, but residents say that this is only causing more rock and tar chunks to come to the surface. The green fertilizer being sprayed over the grass is not helping the grass sprout in the poor soil. One resident said that one of the workers accidentally sprayed a parked car with the substance and then used his T-shirt to wipe it off.

The project bid included a $10,000 charge for the purchase and placement of black dirt. City Architect Mike Rude said construction companies commonly salvage and reuse the soil they removed from the property. However, the boulevard extended residents’ lawns and the soil that was taken did not come from existing yards.

“I want them to bring in black dirt, but not from our compost pile. I want decent dirt,” said Swanville Mayor Sandy Peterson.

Larson Excavating was given 10 days to remove 2 – 4 inches of the soil from First Street to the St. John Catholic Church parking lot. The boulevard must be built back up with quality, screened black dirt. If this is not done within the 10 days, the city will not pay for this portion of the contract.

The Council approved adding to Larson Excavating’s list of repairs, redoing a resident’s water line. This resident’s line froze four weeks earlier than any other water line in Swanville last winter. Although last winter was particularly cold and several cities struggled with frozen lines, this resident’s line was not replaced during the project because it was less than 10 years old. All other water lines had been replaced. Redoing the line will ensure that it is deep enough to keep from freezing.

Swanville City Council Briefs 


Other business that came before the City Council included:

•Hearing that some curb along Sixth Street has broken off and needs to be replaced;

•Learning that the purchase of a commercial lawn mower will be placed on hold as summer is ending;

•Approving the purchase of a new van for the Fire Department in the amount of $40,000. The Fire Department will approach the Lions Club for a donation;

•Hearing there has been some illegal dumping at the city park. Large items like furniture and construction leftovers including shingles have been placed into the dumpster. The dumpster will be gated and those using the park’s facilities will be given a key so that they can access the dumpster; and

•Approving a payment of $4,547.96 to Larson Excavating for work that has been completed to the city’s satisfaction.


  • newpolitiq7

    Very smart to insist on this. Check out 2nd St. N.E. (and there may be other streets) in Little Falls to see the results of a blvd. several years after (not insisting on good soil). What a mess. The sewer is updated and the street is smooth, but the blvd’s are wider and weed-filled, the old, glorious trees are gone, and the sidewalks are twice as wide (more snow shoveling). Hold them accountable now. Good job, Swanville residents!