Champlin sets public hearing for 2013 street improvement project

After further discussions and conducting a second neighborhood meeting last week, Champlin City Council authorized moving forward with a public hearing for the 2013 Reclaim and Pave Improvement Project. This project includes the following portion of the city:

• Oregon Avenue from the southerly cul-de-sac to 114th  Avenue

• Nevada Avenue from 112th Avenue to Maryland Avenue

• Louisiana Avenue from Maryland Avenue to 114th Avenue

• Kentucky Avenue from Maryland Avenue to 114th Avenue

• 113th Avenue from Quebec Avenue to Maryland Avenue

• 113th Circle, 112th Circle

• 112th Avenue from Oregon Avenue to Maryland Avenue

• 111th Avenue from Oregon Avenue to Maryland Avenue and Kentucky Court

Champlin City Council will hold a public hearing May 28

The area has extensive bituminous cracking, growing pothole concerns, drainage issues and inadequate street lighting.  The project will include bituminous rehabilitation, lateral storm sewer extension and new street light installation.

One of the prevailing concerns for residents in the project area stemmed from assessment costs, particularly those associated with the streetlight assessments. After listening to resident concerns shared both in a council work session and neighborhood meetings held during the past several weeks, council directed staff to reevaluate the type of streetlight to be installed and the assessment cost.

During a work session conducted April 22, prior to the council meeting, council reached consensus on switching from the Syracuse streetlight to a Sun Valley light. The lamp has a fuller hood on it. With the luminaires attached, the lamps sit at about 13 feet, which is shorter than the current 30 foot wooden Interwood poles currently in the area. The Sun Valley streetlights have a projected 50-year service life versus the 25-year service life of the current poles. They also are similar in design to the Syracuse lights installed in other portions of the city.

Staff also proposed an alternate assessment structure. Originally, the project implemented the assessment policy’s protocol of assessing impacted properties at 50 percent of the project cost.

However, in this case, City Engineer Tim Hanson extracted the streetlight costs and compared the current cost per resident for the current streetlight system. Over a 25-year period with a 3 percent increase rate for the current 16 streetlights, it would cost the city $130,000 to Xcel Energy for the existing streetlight capital costs. Split between the 145 units in the project area the current system costs nearly $900 per unit.

Based on this figure and the added value of installing the new city’s standard lighting in additional to the longer life span of the new system, administration proposed a flat $1,000 assessment fee for the new Sun Valley streetlights. Assessments totalling $145,000 will pay for a portion of the streetlight installation with an additional $305,000 coming from the city’s streetlight assessment fund.

They also proposed a 20 light plan and a 30 light plan. Council consensus was to pursue the 30 light plan while Mayor ArMand Nelson said he was leaning more toward the 20 light plan.

They discussed the pros and cons of the consistency level of lighting throughout the neighborhood based on each plan.

Properties in the impacted area will also be assessed the city’s 2013 typical lot rate of $2,077 per unit for the rest of the project cost. This is in alignment with the city’s standard policy.

The overall project cost is estimated at $1.752 million.

The public hearing will be conducted Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. during the city council meeting.

Currently, the project schedule outlines the contract to be awarded July 22 with construction soon to follow. Completion of the project is estimated mid-October. The first assessment payment would be due with the 2014 taxes on May 15, 2014.

Going forward, the council plans to address creating a specific streetlight assessment policy for future projects. This will be discussed as a separate issue in future work sessions and council meetings.


Contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at [email protected]