City gets ready for advent of Ravinia
The Corcoran City Council took two major steps on Thursday, July 10, in bringing municipal water and sanitary sewers to serve the southeast corner of the city, including the first phase of the U.S. Homes Ravinia housing development.
First the council awarded a $1.8 million contract to Northdale Construction Company for constructing water and utility connections. The sewer main will run south from Corcoran Lions Park to Ravinia, which will be located in the area west of County Road 101 and north of Gleason Road. Water mains will connect to the Maple Grove water system directly across County Road 101.
Ravinia will be Corcoran’s first subdivision to be served by municipal water and sanitary sewers. Corcoran has approved a final plat for 36 single-family homes in Ravinia’s first phase. U.S. Homes has proposed to eventually build 426 single-family detached homes on the 266.57-acre site.
Engineers from Wenck Associates originally estimated total costs for the sewer and water project at $2.6 million — including land easements, design and construction engineering, construction management and construction. City Engineer Kent Torve expected the $1.8 million winning construction bid to bring total costs down to $2.52 million.
Now that the City Council has awarded a construction contract, Corcoran’s next step is to sell bonds to pay for the project. On July 10, the City Council called for the sale of $3.14 million in general obligation utility revenue bonds to be on July 24. The 20-year bonds would provide $2.8 million for water and sewer infrastructure and $250,000 for wrapping up work on facilities for the Public Works Department, including demolition of an old public works building on Caine Road. Northland Securities assumed an average interest rate of 3.38 percent during calculations of Corcoran’s anticipated debt service payments.
The City Council also took up other business on July 10. Here are some meeting highlights.
SANITARY SEWER, WATER ORDINANCE
Once new residents begin moving into Ravinia, Corcoran will need an ordinance regulating city water and sanitary sewers. City councilors reviewed a draft ordinance and commented on issues such as what to do when customers fail to pay their bills. How soon should the city cut off water to a house after a bill becomes delinquent? When water is cut off, the house becomes uninhabitable.
City Administrator Brad Martens asked the council to send him final comments so that he can bring a final draft to the July 24 City Council meeting.
Mayor Ken Guenthner said Corcoran would not compel owners of existing buildings to connect to new city sewer and water mains that are routed past their properties.
He then asked about regulating what homeowners will do with water from their sump pumps. Would they pump storm water to the outside of their homes or into the city sanitary sewer system? As Corcoran approves new developments, the city has some control over what homeowners do with storm water. However, the city does not have similar control over sump water in existing homes.
Guenthner wondered whether Mound’s sanitary sewer problems during recent heavy rains were the result of homeowners discharging storm water into city sewers.
Administrator Martens answered that, under the proposed ordinance, Corcoran’s building inspector has the authority to enter existing homes and check what is happening with sump pump water. This part of the ordinance could be “beefed up.”
Martens said he has worked for other cities that have sump pump inspection ordinances. He urged the council to wrap up work on the overall sanitary sewer and water ordinance. A detailed sump pump inspection ordinance could come later.
RESPONSE TO ROAD PETITION
Will Corcoran pave Tree Line Drive, Foxline Drive and Trail Haven Road? Residents along these three gravel roads will hear a detailed proposal at the Aug. 14 City Council meeting. That is when city staff will present a draft plan for paving city roads. Meanwhile, the City Council accepted the city engineer’s response to a May 22 petition signed by 35 people living on 31 properties along the three roads.
The residents asked Corcoran to pave the roads and said the city would save money in maintenance costs. In their proposal, the residents said, “Given the low traffic counts for Treeline and Foxline, it is not clear that there will be major maintenance costs over the life of the roads (20 years), nor is it possible to estimate these costs.”
In his memo City Engineer Vince Vander Top said it is possible to estimate maintenance costs. Any plan for paving the three roads should take these costs into account, he said, and Corcoran should be willing to cover significantly more of up-front improvement costs through Municipal State Aid funds and General Obligation bonds.
COUNTY ROAD 10 TURN BACK
City Councilors discussed whether to ask Hennepin County to turn County Road 10 back to Corcoran. One issue was maintenance and improvement costs that the city would incur if this happened.
Mayor Guenthner summed up the council’s consensus. County Road 10 should continue to be a county road. Meanwhile, Peachtree is proposing a housing development at the intersection of county roads 10 and 50, he said, and Corcoran could work with Peachtree to improve the intersection.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at firstname.lastname@example.org