Council considers possible improvements to streets and public services in 2022

Council considers possible improvements to streets and public services in 2022

Pipestone City Council, at its meeting on December 20, held a public hearing on proposed street and utility improvement projects in 2022. About ten members of the general public attended the meeting.

City administrator Jeff Jones said council decided earlier in the year to proceed with the preparation of possible projects for the coming year earlier than usual to allow the bids to launch. and getting documents faster in the spring and getting projects started earlier. The public hearing was held to seek comments from residents of Pipestone regarding the proposed projects.

City engineer Travis Winter with Bolton and Menk outlined possible street and utility improvement projects in 2022 with an estimated total cost of just under $ 6.4 million, along with proposed assessments for them. landowners to review and discuss.

The areas covered by the proposed projects are Nichols Addition (the name of the original platform and the largest of the proposed projects), Fourth Street SE just east of the railroad tracks (Fourth Street is currently a road of gravel) and two blocks of 10th Street SW, which had some utility upgrades but the road conditions did not allow resurfacing. Winter said that due to the condition, they are considering a complete reconstruction of the street. In addition, Industrial Road is a proposed improvement project. Currently, it is a gravel road with curb and gutter and storm sewer that serves the industrial park.

Winter said the scope of the work can always be reduced from what has been presented, but it cannot be increased. The goals, said Winter, are to improve surface conditions, reduce inflow and infiltration into sewers, and increase the flow capacity of the water system by replacing deteriorating infrastructure, which in turn increases the flow capacity of the water system. in turn will improve the reliability of the systems and interrupt maintenance while also improving the drainage surface. The proposed improvements include the reconstruction of streets, driveways, curbs and gutters, storm sewer sumps, manholes, sanitary sewer lines, surfaces, water pipes, hydrants. fountains, valves and sidewalks.

Winter said he plans to return in March with readiness plans and specifications for possible authorization to collect bids on the projects. If bid prices are favorable, construction could possibly begin in May or June with the project closing in December 2023. Winter said current assessments are preliminary and another hearing will take place in fall 2023 where affected owners will have the opportunity to object to the proposed ratings at that time. By getting offers early, Winter said the hope is to receive better offers by finding contractors who are actively looking for work.

Currently, the proposed rate for street evaluations is calculated at a cost per foot and is estimated at $ 173 per foot and the storm sewer at $ 13 per foot. Winter said those numbers are high so the “unknowns” are covered, but he believes getting bids early will help bring those numbers down and align them with some of the prices they’ve had over the course of the year. last year.

City Council member Dan Delaney asked if the estimate was for concrete or some other material and Winter confirmed that it was for concrete use in improvement plans, as the service life is typically longer and maintenance costs are lower, but that was the worst part. – case scenario for the materials used.

Other estimated improvement costs would be sanitary sewers at $ 2,550 per property and the water system at $ 2,900 per property. According to Winter, the methodology for determining how much is paid by each affected landowner is that 30 percent of the cost of the improvement is distributed among all the beneficiary properties according to the amount of frontage property they have for the project, and the amount of frontage property they have for the project. city ​​recovers the remaining 70 percent for the street. Improvements to storm sewers will be valued at 20 percent, water at 25 percent per beneficiary property and 20 percent to sanitary sewers.

Winter said the total to be appraised is $ 1.6 million of the $ 6.37 million in projects, and that there is a possible carry-over if residents are considered to be 65 years of age or older. , active soldiers and disabled people who meet certain income conditions which are revised each year. However, interest accumulates and becomes payable when the property is sold or the hardship no longer exists.

The council heard from several residents of the city. A resident of the Nichols Annex spoke about the fact that the sewer on his street was redone about 15 years ago and the properties on the street were appraised despite the job being poorly done according to this resident. She asked if the residents of that street would be completely reassessed for it, even if they had already paid for it.

Winter said that the condition of this street is recognized and that Bolton and Menk hope to consider other alternatives rather than completely rebuilding it, but that it is up to the council and that he thinks it would be difficult to re-evaluate the properties. who had already paid it. The resident noted that the previous assessment was a huge ordeal for the people in her neighborhood and that she lost several neighbors because they could not afford the size of the assessment.

The board clarified with Winter that after having had the opportunity to further investigate the area in the design phase, whether this would be a repair or replacement situation, and that a repair during the term useful life of the current system would not be an assessable situation.

Another resident raised concerns about the additional expense for the homeowner to install concrete rather than asphalt, despite the material’s longer life. The resident also brought up the fact that she had just finished paying for repairs to one side of her house and now this proposed new appraisal would bring them back to repairing the house on the north side of her house.

Winter said they recognize that the area near their home has been done and they will view this more as a repair than a reconstruction, meaning there is no further assessment. The resident told council that she also lost a neighbor in the last assessment, who had to foreclose on her house because she could not afford it.

Another resident asked about the seeding and the black soil where the work would be done. Winter said it was all part of the restoration plan.

Rusty Hartke, a representative of Gorter’s Clay and Dairy properties, asked what the specific plan was for Industrial Road. Winter said the plan would be to lay a concrete liner on it and use the existing storm and sanitary / water sewer infrastructure, the existing curb and dig some of the gravel and put concrete in it. Hartke asked what the rating would be for that, and Winter said that was another topic of discussion and was not the meeting where those numbers were set, but he estimates it could go anywhere from 30 to 50. %.

Jones noted that if the board approves the project, it could seek funding through the state again if possible. Jones also noted that the next step is for the board to decide whether they want Bolton and Menk to prepare plans and specifications for all, some, or none of the projects, and that even when that process is complete, that doesn’t mean that the projects will be completed.

Jones said the council is trying to position itself in the event that grant funds become available they will have already met state requirements by putting a plan in place. Hartke closed his comments and the public hearing by expressing concerns about whether the properties he represented would be worth more to a buyer, whether concrete or gravel.

Later in the meeting, the board approved a resolution directing improvement and readiness plans for Bolton & Menk.

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