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Blue Earth OKs 2019 street work

By Staff | Nov 11, 2018

The Blue Earth City Council took a major first step towards their 2019 street project during their meeting last Monday night.

As part of the meeting, which was held at the Ag Center, they held a public hearing to explain the scope of the project to the residents who will be affected.

About 36 property owners were in attendance at the meeting to hear city engineer Wes Brown, of Bolton and Menk, explain in detail what all will happen with the North Sailor Street Improvements.

Brown explained how some blocks of the project will be full street reconstruction that will include underground utility work, while other blocks will be just mill and overlay, with no underground work.

The total project cost is estimated at this time to be $1.86 million.

Of that cost, the largest portion is for street, curb and sidewalk work, at $1.13 million. Residents will be assessed for $351,923 of that amount.

Water main replacement is estimated at $339,910 with property owners assessed for $83,520. Sanitary sewer comes in at $263,130 with property owners paying $82,880. Storm sewer costs are at $123,385 with none of that assessed to property owners.

The city’s assessment policy has water and sanitary sewer lines paid for by water and sewer utility rates charged to all residents, however, the assessments cover the individual service lines from the mains to the properties.

Streets and sidewalks are 70 percent paid for by the city and 30 percent assessed to the residents.

Several of the residents who were present at the meeting had questions or comments.

One comment had to do with opening up Second Street to East Street as part of the project. It currently is stubbed off at that intersection. Another concern had to do with the number of trees that could be impacted and removed because of the project.

The project schedule, according to Brown, is to prepare plans and specs over the winter months and call for bids in March, award the bid in April and plan on construction starting in May or early June of next year.

In other business at the meeting, the City Council:

Discussed upcoming street projects with Faribault County Engineer Mark Daly. The project for 2019 in Blue Earth is a resurfacing of the three streets in the West Industrial Park. In 2020 the project would be a reconstruction of Leland Parkway.

Heard an update from Dave Kittleson concerning the fundraising efforts of a committee working towards the purchase of a new slide at the Blue Earth Community Pool.

Kittleson reported the group has raised $36,500. The council has been discussing also putting funds in the 2019 budget to cover the rest of the cost of the new slide. At this point those funds are in the budget but more discussions on the budget are planned until mid-December when it will be finalized and certified.

Went over the lease/purchase agreement between the city and the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce concerning the new Chamber Welcome Center/Giant Museum building.

It is a lease-to-purchase agreement that will last for 20 years.

Discussed some concerns that had been expressed by citizens over the City Hall roof replacement that was done by an out-of-town business.

City administrator Tim Ibisch had included the city’s bidding guidelines in the council packet, as well as information on the way the roof replacement was handled.

Ibisch and the council decided to look at the way these types of work bids will be handled in the future.

Agreed to a request for funds from the Faribault County Historical Society. However, the council agreed to pay $4,000, an amount that was in the budget. The society had requested $5,890.34, which is the cost of their utilities.