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BREAKING NEWS

BE has plans for second project

Nicollet, 10th street work in 2021 will also top $2 million cost

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Nov 22, 2020

The median on the south end of Nicollet Street is not slated to be replaced as part of the 2021 project.

At their meeting on Monday night the Blue Earth City Council received the preliminary engineer’s report on the second major street and utility project the city has planned for the 2021 construction season.

The project will encompass about seven blocks, including all of West 10th Street, the south end of Nicollet Street, as well as some work on Bartels Drive.

Total estimated cost of the project is $2,152,641. That breaks down to $1,105,570 for street improvements, $351,175 for storm sewer costs, $427,316 for water main improvements and $268,580 for sanitary sewer improvements.

The plan calls for the center island on the South Nicollet Street portion of the project, which ends in a cul-du-sac, will be removed and not be replaced.

Also, all areas of West 10th Street which have sidewalks now will have them replaced.

One concern was brought up at the meeting by councilman Glenn Gaylord.

“I would still like to see that block of 10th Street from Main to Nicollet beefed up,” Gaylord said. “There is a lot of traffic on that block because people take it to use Nicollet in order to bypass Main Street.”

Earlier the city engineers from Bolton and Menk had said they had studied whether it was necessary due to increased snow hauling in the winter by dump trucks and determined it was not needed.

A determination on whether to increase the pavement thickness on that block was postponed until later.

The council approved accepting the engineering study, as well as setting a date for a public hearing on the project. That public hearing will be Monday, Dec. 7, at 5:05 p.m. at the Public Safety Center.

This is the second $2 million plus project slated for 2021. The other one involves work on Walnut, Third and Hood streets improvements. The estimated cost for that project is $2,016,910.

The public hearing for that Walnut, Third and Hood project is Monday, Nov. 30, at 5:05 p.m., also at the Public Safety Center.

Also as part of his report, city engineer Wes Brown said the Leland Parkway project is pretty close to complete, with grass seeding having been done last week.

Some of the council members questioned the speed limit being at 45 miles per hour on Leland Parkway and felt that was too fast.

Brown said the road is engineered to handle that speed, but that he would relay the council’s concerns to the county engineer.

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

• Met with members of the Blue Earth Community Library Board to discuss the roles of the library board and the City Council when it comes to the operations of the library.

Discussion centered on whether the library board is a governing board or an advisory board. As a governing board they have more control over much of the operations of the library than does an advisory board.

Some of the council members, the mayor and the city attorney all said they felt the library board was a governing board.

• Authorized renewing two contracts involving the operation of the Blue Earth City Airport. Those include the airport management agreement (which includes maintenance such as mowing and snow removal) and the F.B.O. (Fixed Base Operator) lease between the city and Blue Earth Flying Service.

• Looked at five proposals for the city’s annual audit.

The current company doing the audit had the highest cost. The council instructed staff to investigate and get references and background for the company with the lowest cost proposal before making a final decision.

• Discussed an issue with parking on Main Street and decided to send out a survey to downtown businesses concerning possible changes in parking rules.

One possible change could be a time limit for parking on Main Street.

• Discussed the vacation of a platted alleyway near 14th and Moore streets. The alley has never actually been in existence, and it is necessary to vacate it in order for construction of an apartment complex.

• Authorized the Blue Earth Fire Department to purchase a piece of safety equipment at a cost of $4,525.

• Authorized closing City Hall on Thursday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, but not designate it as a holiday. Employees wanting the day off would need to take a vacation day or unpaid day off.