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Peterson received final feasibility report for County 25 project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in Peterson Government

Following a thorough field investigation of sanitary sewer, water main, and storm sewer systems, Yaggy Colby presented its report to the city council Wednesday, October 9. Included in the report was the engineer’s opinion of probable cost for several portions of the project and a detailed street and water main map. By receiving a final feasibility report, the city also meets a state obligation should it end up needing to impose assessments to fund the project.

“The project is feasible and cost effective. However, financing the project may be a challenge for the City of Peterson. Great consideration should be given as to what the best option for financing is and how it will benefit the entire community,” noted Brian Holtz, project manager. “At this point, the report is informational. We know the limits.”

The city had originally envisioned the project, which is being done in cooperation with Fillmore County, for 2014. The county’s stance on the project scope, according to Holtz, tear it up and rebuild the whole works, including curb and gutter, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, and hydrants. “They’re looking at big picture,” Holtz continued. “Fillmore County going to do the road and walk away, except for maintenance, for 30 years. They hope it will last 50.”

In regards to the sanitary sewer, the system is in relatively good shape. Installed in 1970s, the main is PVC pipe, and engineers are expecting no real surprised with it. However, it has been recommend that the city televise sewer lines to verify condition. It has also been recommended that manhole castings be replaced and adjusted to match the new roadway elevations. The city’s cost for sanitary sewer upgrades is $5,250.

Storm sewer pipe is also in good condition and adequate size. In contrast, catch basins are in fair to poor condition and per recommendation, should be removed and upgraded. On a lucky break for the city, MnDOT typically picks up the tab for 50 to 100 percent of the cost. Holtz noted that in Fillmore County, the state has covered the cost in its entirety more than 75 percent of the time. “We’re allocating for 50 percent, just in case, but there’s a high likelihood we’ll see more money,” added Holtz. During final design, the entire system would be analyzed using current MnDOT State Aid Design standards to determine if any other replacement is needed. The estimated storm sewer upgrade is $20,250.

Street reconstruction costs are to be shared 50/50 with Fillmore County. Peterson’s estimated cost, after cost share, is $74,649.63, including concrete curb and gutter, driveway pavement, and concrete sidewalks. The cost of the roadway, from the lip of curb to lip of curb, will be 100 percent Fillmore County.

The biggest structural unknown for the city is its water main. Estimated at 75, or perhaps 100 years old, the, “Necessary material and compaction operations could introduce structural problems in the main.” While there are no current problems with the water main, in affect road work could have on it is a looming question mark. Yaggy Colby has suggested the city take advantage of cost savings and do it now. “If it fails in the future and you have to dig up the road to fix it, you’ll be rebuilding the road on your own nickel,” cautioned Holtz. “I’m not saying you have to do it, but it’s our recommendation.” For now, water main replacement is included in the project.

Flow testing has been done to ensure that minimum fire flow, 1,000 gallons per minute, is present.

A 6-inch provides adequate fire protection, while a 4-inch offers little protection. The majority of Peterson, except Mill Street, just south of Victory Street, to and up north Church Street is 4-inch piping. Two other areas, including the far western portion of Prospect Street and a northern portion of Centennial Street, have only 2-inch pipes. Yaggy Colby recommends the water main be upgraded to 8-inch. The firm is also suggesting that in the future, a loop, instead of dead end, be constructed in Park Street from Church to Fillmore Street, increasing water flow. The price tag for water main replacement is a hefty $249,750.

The biggest issue facing the city is funding. For now, assessments have been taken off estimated figures. “It’s not an apples to apples comparison (Mill Street versus Church Street). You’ll need to break up costs depending on what is provided to those properties. There’s just no way to know if construction will affect mains,” noted Holtz. “You need to take it to your financial agent and mill it over. Determine what impact will be on residents, on the tax base, just what the impacts are. Use the numbers to plug into whatever model you have and see what the impacts are. See what you’re comfortable with and tailor it from there.”

There are no existing grant opportunities for the city. The scope of the plan will need to be fully determined before looking at funding. One source of partial funding is to assess the adjacent property owners for a percentage. If city borrows money on a GO bond, the state requires a minimum of 20 percent be assessed to adjacent property owners. The city currently has no existing assessment policy and would need to review having a policy for the possibility. Other funding options include general fund revenues, utility revenues, low interest loans (Minnesota Rural Water Association, MnDOT revolving loans), and tax levy.

“I’d like to see some public input on this,” cautioned Councilor Barry Erickson. The council agreed, also noting that businesses, which have already struggled due to Highway 16 work this year, will need time to make a plan. Work is expected to be staged in segments, leaving either Church or Mill Street open for entrance to the city. The water main project would last approximately five weeks, with the entire project a 2.5 to three month undertaking. The city has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, October 30, at 7p.m., for the topic.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Wednesday, November 13, at 7p.m., at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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