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BE makes plans for 2020 street projects

By Staff | Nov 24, 2019

While the North Sailor Street reconstruction project did not quite get completed in 2019, the Blue Earth City Council put into motion the plans for the second half of the project for 2020.

The council voted last night to accept the feasibility study for the 2020 South Sailor Street Project and to hold a public informational meeting about the project for all the residents in the impacted area on Dec. 16, at 5:05 p.m., at the Public Safety Building (fire hall).

The project will include street reconstruction and underground utility work on Sailor Street from Third Street south to Seventh Street, and also on Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets from Highway 169 to East Street.

Also included in the project is a mill and overlay on Ramsey Street from Seventh to Eighth Street, as well as on Bartels Drive. Another addition is the paving of the parking lots and alleyways around the City Hall and library.

Total cost of the project is estimated to be $2,807,245. Of that amount, $2,643,805 is for the Sailor Street Project, $112,690 for the city parking lot work, $29,150 for the mill and overlay on Ramsey Street and $30,600 for the mill and overlay on Bartels Drive.

There are $605,478 in assessments which will be made to the landowners in the area. A preliminary assessment roll, listing each individual landowner’s assessment amount, has been created and will be available at the Dec. 16 meeting.

In other business at last Monday night’s meeting, the council:

Voted to accept a proposal of a gift of musical playground equipment to be placed at Giant Park next summer.

The request was made by the Blue Earth Community Foundation. BECF board member and city councilman John Huisman reported that former KBEW radio station owner Paul Hedberg wants to donate the large size musical instruments playground to the city as a gift. The instruments are similar to the ones at Arnolds Park at Lake Okoboji, Iowa.

“This is a nice gift to one of our parks,” councilman Glenn Gaylord said. “How can we not be for it?”

The council did discuss the base of the new addition and where it would be located. Suggested was to use concrete for a base and to put it in the intersection of two sidewalks already in the park.

Passed a motion to vacate an alley between West Ninth Street and West 10th Street.

Voted to have staff send letters to the owners of unlicensed vehicles parked at a Blue Earth auto repair business, informing them the vehicles need to be licensed or will be towed away at the owner’s expense.

Voted to accept four applications for new members of the fire department, as well as two new members of the library board (Randall Anderson and Carl Eckstadt, Jr.) and one person to continue to serve on the HRA Board (Ken Skaare).

Adding four new members to the fire department will put them one person over the allowed number of 30, but the council said OK to making it 31 firemen on the department.

Voted to accept a new utility franchise agreement with CenterPoint Energy for supplying natural gas to the town.

A franchise fee would be set later, when all of the city’s fees for 2020 are set.

City administrator Tim Ibisch said there are several fees which should be looked at, including the so-called “chicken” fee. That would be the fee for keeping chickens on property in town.

And, councilman Gaylord said he was in favor of raising all the fees for dogs, including for running loose, barking, etc.

Authorized an expense of $4,893 for testing sewer lines and jetting the lines in next year’s Sailor Street project.