Discusses snow removal on sidewalks
The Osseo City Council moved forward with the concept to put an addition onto City Hall that would house the Police Department.
The council also discussed the removal of snow from residential sidewalks at its meeting Monday, Feb. 24.
Modris Feders, Principal Architect with Buetow 2 Architects, brought to the council the schematic design for the proposed police addition to City Hall. The council previously authorized Buetow to prepare the design back Jan. 13.
The cost of the addition to City Hall for the police department is estimated to be $878,000. These costs include the addition to the City Hall building, removal of the existing police building and reconfiguring the parking lot.
The project would consist of a 3,463-square-foot addition onto the City Hall building on the west side. This proposal would put police and other city departments, community center and library all under one roof. This police addition would house a garage for three police cars, a waiting area, booking and photo area, reception area, an open office, police chief’s office, conference room, kitchen and emergency operations center.
The addition would allow the two current public entrances to not change and remain open as well.
Feders said the proposal would keep the appearance the same at City Hall. The curb cut for one of the drive entrances to the parking area would be then used for the squad garage entrance/exit. The electrical and plumbing infrastructure would be tied into the new addition. The existing bathrooms in City Hall would also serve the new addition.
Also, part of the project would be to use 1,660-square-feet of the lower level in City Hall that is currently used for storage. This level would house the men’s and women’s locker rooms, storage and supply area, evidence space and armory area.
City staff believe the design appears to accommodate the city storage needs and the police needs.
Feders added Buetow looked into an option of placing a basement under the new police addition for the police locker rooms and storage needs. The area would not be able to house any additional office space because of the low basement height of 8 feet. This would add another $240,000 to the project to construct a basement.
The project would be paid for by combination of bonds sold by the Economic Development Authority, the use of existing Capital Improvement money and any budget surplus in the general fund.
“What we’re trying to do is present a realistic scheme that meets your needs and meets the police needs and fits like it’s always been there,” Feders said.
Councilor Mark Schulz wondered if the garage would open onto the sidewalk at Fifth Street N.W. “My concern is that literally by the time [a police squad] is out and they can have visualization of the street and sidewalk, the whole hood of their car is already over the sidewalk,” he added. “I think we should consider some type of curb bump out or some type of warning system.”
Feders said he and Police Chief Tom Hartkopf talked about a visual and audible system that motorists and pedestrians can hear and see to alert them.
Schulz added there would more foot and vehicle traffic in the area after the Five Central project is completed. He also asked where prisoners would come into the building and what restroom would they use. Feders said they would come into the building through the garage, as they would be coming to the police department in a squad more than likely and there would also be a restroom for them to use in the booking area.
The council authorized 4-0 Buetow 2 Architects to proceed with the design development/construction documents phase of the police addition at a lump sum fee of $41,000 plus reimbursable expenses not to exceed $900. Councilor Allan Hartkopf was absent.
The project could now be put out for bids in mid to late April and the contract awarded in May. Construction would then be from May to October with the project completed in October.
The council also talked about the removal of snow on residential sidewalks.
City Administrator Doug Reeder said this was requested to be put on the agenda to talk about if the city ordinance of residents removing snow from residential sidewalks should be enforced or waived for the rest of this winter.
Councilor Bonnie Heinen said, “The reason I brought this up was because I had calls from some of the residents before this last snowfall, that they had removed the snow from their sidewalks and then the city came along and it blew back on. I refer to the two years ago when the city said residents did not have to clear their sidewalks because of the amount of snow. There is a lot of snow out there. So I think we should give people a pass.”
Councilor Schulz, who was absent of that meeting two years ago, said he disapproved of that decision then and would now because there a lot of school students walking and waiting on the sidewalks. “I would not be in favor of suspending this ordinance,” he said.
Councilor Rick Weber and Mayor Duane Poppe agreed that residents should keep the sidewalks clear.
In other action, the council:
ORDERED receiving the feasibility report and calling a hearing 2014 street and utility improvements. These improvements will be made to First Avenue N.E. from Fourth Street N.E. to County Road 30 , on Fourth Street N.E. from First Avenue N.E. to Fourth Avenue N.E. and sanitary sewer on County Road 30 from First Avenue N.W. to First Avenue N.E.
APPROVED the change contracted amount with Metro West Inspection Services from 30 to 32 percent of the building permit and plan review fees, effective with permits issued March 1 and later.
ACCEPTED the resignation of Firefighter Patty Lyden from the Osseo Fire Department.
ACCEPTED the resignation of part-time Police Officer Brett Letourneau from the Osseo Police Department.