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Ten year plan for Preston street maintenance

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

By Karne Reisner

Jim Bakken, Public Works, reviewed a detailed 10 year street maintenance schedule at the city council’s September 16 meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent.

Streets have been assigned a numerical rating. Bakken said $45,000 per year is budgeted for street maintenance. He said he expects the cost of services like crack filling and seal coating to continue to increase over the years.

The expected 2014 project includes about one-third of the city streets. Most are scheduled for total reconstruction, with just a couple scheduled for mill and overlay and repave.

The next larger project for another major street reconstruction is potentially scheduled for 2018. The following years in the 10 year plan would include maintenance only with cost estimates remaining within the $45,000 per year. Bakken said the process of maintenance should begin about six or seven years after the reconstruction of a street.

By 2021, about 75 to 80 percent of the city is scheduled to be covered.

Wellhead Protection public information meeting

Preston adopted a Wellhead Protection Plan in 2003 assisted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Pat Bailey, MDH, works at the drinking water protection section out of the Rochester office. The Wellhead Protection Plan has to be formally amended every 10 years as per the federal Safe Water Drinking Act.

Bailey noted Preston’s three wells all use the Jordan aquifer. They were considered to have a low vulnerability for contamination 10 years ago and that is still the case today.

Bailey said over the next several months they will revisit management strategies. Potential concerns would be if other wells were in the same aquifer or if a business came in and wanted to use the same aquifer for a new well.

Other Business In Brief

•City Administrator Joe Hoffman explained that he had been approached by two people that owned properties in the floodplain. The one property owner has withdrawn his house from consideration which is located on the floodplain and not the floodway.

Hazel Knies has a home on Main Street and is looking at the possibility of selling the house to the city. Half of the house is located in the floodway.

The city has acquired three floodway properties so far. Twelve floodway properties were ranked on an acquisition priority list in 2008. The Knies property is sixth on the list.

The council directed the city staff to start the application process. Hoffman noted the grants are competitive. If a FEMA grant was awarded it would pay 75 percent. The DNR would pay 12.5 percent and the last 12.5 percent would be picked up by the city. Hoffman said to get the grant it is necessary to demonstrate repeated flood damage.

Hoffman estimated they would need to apply for about $15,000 on top of the EMV which is nearly $95,000. The additional funds would be needed for demolition, removal, and the return of the property to green space.

Mayor Kurt Reicks made it clear that if the city did not receive the grant, the city could not buy the property.

•A special council meeting was called to take place on September 23 at 5 p.m. It will be combined with part of the EDA meeting to discuss the Hellickson property purchase. City Attorney Dwight Luhmann said he had been instructed on August 5 by the council to negotiate a price for the purchase of the Hellickson house and the Bulk Plant properties.

Councilman Robert Maust suggested they wait until after the EDA meeting on September 23 and see if there is a good plan to bring in the third property.

•Maust had requested an additional item be put on the agenda before the agenda was approved. His concern was the amount of funds available to pay the rent ($800) for the National Trout Center. He said the extra $10,000 the council had committed in addition to the original $29,000 had been used up except for about $400.

Hoffman said he thought the balance the NTC had on hand was about $10,000. Maust insisted the NTC transfer funds into the city account or pay their bills directly. Luhmann explained that the lease agreement was between the city and the Spanglers, which made the city obligated.

A motion was approved to request a transfer of $5,000 from the NTC to the city account to be available to pay bills associated with the NTC.

•The payment of bills had been held back out of the consent agenda. A motion was made to pay the bills with the exception of the NTC rent payment of $800. A motion was then made to hold the $800 check until funds were received from the NTC.

•The 100 West block of Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic on Saturday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Kid’s Health and Safety Day.

•The League of Minnesota Cities annual membership for 2014 was approved with a membership fee of $1,358.

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