11/14/2012 10:14:00 PM $2.9 million East Side project moves forward
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls city council unanimously moved forward the estimated $2.9 million capital improvement project for the East Side of the city at its November 8 meeting.
Detailed plans will now be prepared for the street, curb and gutter, sewer and water improvements. If final plans are accepted, the project would be put out for bids in February or March with work possibly starting in April, 2013.
The city will assess benefiting homeowners 20 percent of the cost, the minimum required by State law. The city will pay for 80 percent of the costs. Work is planned that will impact about 100 properties on Hoffman St. East, Bridge St. North, Water St. East, Almond St. North, Cedar St. North, Vine St. North, Grove St. North, Cannon Ct., Stoughton Ct., Water Ct., and Oak St. N.
Assessments are estimated at $6,396 per home for properties on the east end of the project and on the south side of Hwy. 19, where the work is expected to be the most extensive. On the west end of the project, where some of the infrastructure is newer, assessments are estimated at $5,061. In a stretch of Water St. East where only the street will be resurfaced, assessment estimates are $625.
A public hearing was held at the meeting and about two dozen residents were in attendance. Where space is limited on the south side of Hwy. 19, some roads will only be 26 feet wide, rather than the standard 32, Tom Schramske, Oak Street, was informed by city consulting engineer, Greg Anderson. Schramske was told by Anderson that they will try to preserve boulevard trees where possible. Trees removed will be replaced, albeit by smaller immature trees, Anderson said. Schramske noted that when a previous project was done about 20 years ago, dynamite was used to blast through underlying rock and basement walls were cracked.
Anderson said they hope to use hydraulic jackhammers to do the trench work needed and were able to do so in a 2006 project in this area. Anderson said they did have to blast in a 2001 project closer to downtown. If blasting is needed, pre-blasting inspections of basements would be done and the contractor would have to carry insurance to cover damages, said Anderson. Anderson told Jane Duffy, Hoffman St., that after the project gets its final bids, assessments would be made on those bids. The city would assume any overrun costs if conditions prove to be more difficult than anticipated during actual construction.
Larry Dammer, Almond St., said longtime residents in his neighborhood already paid for curb and gutter. City administrator Aaron Reeves said life expectancy on infrastructure is often only 20 to 30 years, so long-time homeowners may indeed get hit more than once.
Dammer also recommended including Minnesota Street as part of this project, calling it the worst street in the area and that construction bids and assessments could be better with a larger project. The Minnesota St. work is planned for 2017. Dammer said waiting four years would add costs. Dammer noted that the planned new construction would be downhill from some areas where curb, gutter and storm sewer work is outdated and the new work could be damaged.
Anderson said the sewer and water is not as bad on Minnesota. Reeves said the city has divided the project up into smaller parts based on how much debt it wants to take on. Council member LeRoy McCusker said they didn't want to do too big of a project and have Minnesota Street shut down for too long of a period as it is a major route to the school.
Greg Miller, State St., noted that he and three other residents marked for assessment paid for new sewer and water in 2001 and that they hook-up to the Hwy. 19 lines. Reeves said the city would review and may have to adjust those assessments.
Holding tank on Stoughton
The Council unanimously approved a request to allow a holding tank to be used as a septic system at a recently purchased house just to the south of the swimming pool on Stoughton St. The house was purchased for $20,000 and needs extensive repair work. The house has never been hooked up to city services. Its current septic system was condemned by the County at a recent inspection. Hooking up to the city sewer would cost an estimated $44,000. The property owner will be required to hook up to city water. The holding tank is similar to what is used at many lakeshore properties and is pumped out when full.
Police personnel moves
The Council accepted with regrets the resignation of Police Officer Steve Sutton-Brown after over five years in Cannon Falls. He is joining the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office.
The Council approved the promotion of Police Officer Mike Ayres from part-time (for about two years) to full-time.
Police Chief Jeff McCormick was authorized to fill the part-time position vacated by Ayres.
Two purchases were approved for the Library project: New mobile shelving units for $29,696 and some extra insulation (about $800 cost) around the mechanical room and the break area for noise reduction.
The purchase of playground equipment for Hannah's Bend Park was approved for $55,778. A grant will reduce the city's cost to $34,174. There is no playground in that park currently...The Council approved a quit claim reading on a one foot encroachment onto city property of the building occupied by Dudley's Pizza. The move will help Dudley Flodeen in the process of purchasing a portion of the building for his business.