After the bid for the Park Road project in Lanesboro came in higher than anticipated at $350,000, City Engineer Brian Malm was able to work with the contractor to reduce the total project costs. He presented the changes to the original bid to the Lanesboro City Council at their September 5 meeting. By reducing the pavement thickness by ½ inch, changing from sod to seed, and lowering the amount of full re-construct areas in the project, the cost was able to be brought down to $305,000. Malm recommended that the council approve the original bid amount of $350,000 and then pass a motion allowing the changes to the project. Both motions were approved.
The Lanesboro School has agreed to pay up to $85,000 for the project, as the road is used for school purposes and requested the option to pay annually with assessments, which the council agreed to do.
The council approved pay request #3 in the amount of $99,520.10 for the Auburn/Zenith project on Malm’s recommendation. “The end of September is the completion date,” Malm said about the project, noting that it is moving along.
Several of the homeowners on Circle Drive have signed a waiver agreeing to extra assessments to have their water hook-ups fixed during the street project. Malm pointed out that the residents’ participation was completely voluntary.
The council revisited the matter of the proposed Pleasant/Sheridan Alley project. The bid for the project came in at $172,000 which was higher han expected. Malm thought that the tight quarters could explain why the bids came in high. Council member Jason Resseman suggested delaying the project as the city already has the Park Road and the Auburn/Zenith projects going. Malm noted that inflation would drive the bid amount up each year. Council member Marge Drake, who has property bordering the alley pointed out that something needed to be done as the alley, is in very poor condition. The council passed a motion to delay the project with Drake abstaining from the vote.
City Maintenance Director Andy Drake informed the council that both the old and new brush dumps will be burned soon. Even though a sign was put up and the gate locked at the old brush dump, people are still dumping there.
The council reviewed Ordinance 31.70 regarding the Public Utilities Commission which had been updated by the city attorney Thomas Manion. Council member Tom Smith asked that some of the wording and language be changed. The council tabled the approval of the ordinance until Manion can amend it.
City Administrator Michele Peterson mentioned that the city had received several inquiries about the ownership of North Valley Drive and Cedar Cliff Road. She had been under the impression that they were city roads, but upon investigation found that they were actually private property. She was told that the city had formed an agreement with the property owners regarding maintenance, but was unable to find paperwork attesting to that. She will be working with the property owners to get the expectations and responsibilities of the City of Lanesboro and the homeowners on paper.
Peterson requested and was granted permission from the council to attend the League of Minnesota Cities Regional Meeting that will be held in Pine Island this fall.
The council approved a motion to purchase a new siren from Federal Signal. Norman’s Electric from Rushford will install it near the old well, and Ancom will complete the programming. The old siren will be moved from the BP to the top of the hill. As the new siren will be loud, it will only be used for severe weather warnings or incidents where all volunteers are needed instead of for every ambulance and fire call. Tests will continue to be held on the first Wednesday of every month.
A concern was brought to Peterson about property owners using the parking spaces next to the bike trail, which takes them away from visitors. Mayor Autumn Johnson asked Manion to put together an ordinance restricting commercial parking in those spots and present it at the October meeting.
The council approved Phil Dybing’s application to join the EDA board.
“I am respectfully asking for a leave of absence from my three commissions until January 2018,” Resseman requested. He wished to retain his positions during his leave of absence. The council approved his request.
“It was brought to my attention that we don’t have a policy regarding keys and access to the city building.” Peterson pointed out. She suggested having volunteers sign out keys on a temporary basis. The change would exclude emergency personnel. The council approved the policy.
The next Lanesboro City Council meeting will be held on October 2 at 5:30 p.m.