BY ALICIA MILLER
The Osseo City Council moved forward with the next steps for the 2012 Street and Utility Project during its Monday, June 11, meeting. It also hosted a public hearing on the matter.
The council also tabled action on extending the employment agreement with Douglas Reeder as the Interim City Administrator.
Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.
2012 STREET &
City Engineer Sarah Rippke was the before the council regarding the 2012 street and utility project. The council was conducting the public assessment hearing.
Rippke first gave some background on the project. She said the streets throughout the city were evaluated in 2010. The streets in the 2012 project were the worst streets in the city.
The project will improve Fourth Avenue N.E. from Second Street S.E. to Fourth Street N.E. and Second Street N.E. from First Avenue N.E. to Fifth Avenue N.E.
A portion of Fourth Avenue N.E. will be narrowed from 39 feet to 32 feet. The sanitary sewer will be replaced on two and a half blocks. There will be some storm sewer improvements as well.
She said there were be no sidewalks added as part of the project.
At its April 23 meeting, the council adopted resolution approving plans and specifications and ordering the advertisement for bids.
The engineer’s estimate for the project was $865,651. The low bidder, SR Weidema, Inc. of Maple Grove, came in with a bid of $698,268. The estimate was based on construction prices of similar projects. At the May 14 meeting, the council accepted the bid from SR Weidema, Inc.
Rippke said the assessments were originally proposed to be $7,393 per unit. But with the lower bid, the assessments will be $5,833.23 per unit. Those living on corner lots facing two streets that will be under construction will have a rate of 1.5 unit rate. She said 50 percent of street costs are assessed back to the residents. The utilities are paid for in full by the city’s Enterprise Funds. She added residents can pay in full the assessment without any interest within 30 days of the hearing.
She said there would be
Public comments were taken during matters from the floor and continued during the public hearing on the project.
Mary Gilbertson, resident, said she was concerned about the street assessments on Fourth Avenue. "I would like to know how it was determined," she asked.
Councilor Weber said the council had been discussing it for a year and a half.
Resident Barb Gonior wanted to know how it’s determined that something is voted on just by the council or a vote by the residents during an election. Interim City Administrator Douglas Reeder said a vote by the public during an election is done for a bond issue to construct public facilities. He said the form of government has the elected officials representing the residents, make the decisions on issues like street repairs.
Weber said there were two open houses for the public to give their input as well.
Gonior also said she liked the wider streets. Weber said long-term the narrower streets will have a cost savings because there would be less maintenance, less repairs and less plowing.
Councilor Weber spoke during public comment as a resident. He wanted on record that the concrete curb in front of his house checked because he felt it needed to be replaced because it was shot. Rippke said an inspection would be done before the removal process begins for the project. If the curb was found to be poor condition, it would be replaced as well.
"I’m not here to pay for something that’s going to happen again," Weber said. He also wanted to know how a possible curb replacement would affect he project pricing. Rippke said there was enough money in the contingency that would cover it.
The council adopted the assessment for the 2012 street and utility project.
Next, the council approved awarding the project bid to SR Weidema, Inc.
The council also tabled action on approving the extending and amended interim employment agreement with Reeder. The council wanted the city attorney draft a resolution with amendments that would remove the word "interim."
There would also be an intern at city hall that would deal with everyday planning issues. Benefits would not be given to either Reeder or the intern. Reeder only received a car allowance of $175 a month.
NOTED the City Clean Up Day will be Saturday, June 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Public Works parking lot, 800 Broadway Street E.
APPROVED the Osseo Marching Band Festival for Saturday, June 23, starting at noon.