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Preston considers developing street plan

Mon, Apr 9th, 2012
Posted in Preston All

The Preston City Council at their April 2 meeting seemed to be in agreement that there are numerous streets needing repair or reconstruction in the city. City Administrator Joe Hoffman had asked Stantec Consulting Services (formerly Bonestroo) to put together a proposal for the completion of a pavement management plan.

Stantec would evaluate roadway surfaces, drainage facilities and rate them along with providing estimates on construction and maintenance costs. Utilities will also be evaluated. These evaluations will help the city with long and short term planning.

Hoffman explained that most of the city’s capital outlay is for street improvements. He acknowledged that they have had a lot of complaints from the public. Hoffman added they can only do so much patching, adding they know the streets are in tough shape. The only way to repair or reconstruct the streets is to increase the levy. Property owners may pay up to one-third of the cost in assessments. Hoffman suggested if they caught up needed improvements, the increase in the tax levy could be 15 percent. “In the end you have to pay for the improvements.” Utility improvements would also cause an increase in utility rates.

For the next three years the city is paying off existing debt at about $140,000 per year through 2014 and will finally pay off that debt in 2019. Councilman David Collett said we can’t wait that long. Mayor Kurt Reicks said it will cost more if we wait.

Utility improvements would also cause an increase in utility rates. Hoffman noted that the city’s water and sewer rates are the lowest around and even if there was a 20 percent increase, they still would be the lowest rates in the area.

Stantec will charge up to $7,500 for their engineering services to develop a management plan, if the council accepts the proposal. The council took no action this day. A representative from Stantec will be invited to the next meeting. The proposal will also be presented to the Utility Commission.

Other Business In Brief

•A resolution reestablishing the Fire Hall as the city wide polling place was approved.

•Approval was given to advertise for rock and bituminous quotes for the year.

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