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Rushford Village moves Tuff Lane Bridge project forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 20th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

The Rushford Village Council, now with Gordon Johnson at the helm, following Dale Shwanke’s resignation as mayor, and Chad Rasmussen in the vacant council seat, wasted no time in dealing with agenda items. Several of the items, which have been on the table for some time, came to swift resolution at the Tuesday, June 17 meeting.

The Tuff Lane Bridge, which was deemed deficient by the county, will finally see mandated improvements following recommendation from Bolton & Menk, Inc. engineer Brian Malm at the June 3 meeting. At that meeting, Malm suggested the city move forward with removing the bridge and replacing it with a series of box or arch culverts. The area sits on a large watershed of 1,700-2,500 acres, therefore additional engineering and permitting costs are required. The Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District and Minnesota DNR will require a public water permit and conditions will be placed on the project. Additional jurisdiction claim on the water by Army Corps of Engineers is expected to add further conditions and permitting.

Costs for engineering and permitting are estimated at $15,000-20,000. The city had considered moving forward with the project without additional engineering, but opted to continue on its current route to cover liability concerns. “Engineers use commonly accepted standards within parameters,” noted legal counsel Tom Manion. “Whether or not that equals the value or not is up to you.” It was noted that the city deductible applicable for liability is $25,000.

Replacement construction costs for the project are estimated at $60,000-$80,000 and will include two concrete box culverts. The city will move forward with seeking out bids for the construction. There is currently $100,000 set aside in the Road and Bridge Fund, which will cover the cost of the project.

The city also moved forward with several anticipated purchases. These included a McCormick 50.40 tractor and a Vermeer 50M40 mower. The city will trade in its current tractor and mower to Hammell Equipment, paying $25,900 and $6,000 for the new units.

“The question is, when is it time to look at it? What point is it that we as a city should be trading in to get the best value?” asked Mayor Johnson. “It’s an opportunity. I don’t know if it’s the right time or not. We see what happens when we let things go.”

Mike Hammell, representing Hammell Equipment, noted that typically the best value is found by trading in on a two-year rotation, utilizing the product warranty. It was also noted that product warranty can be extended for an additional two years, if opted for in the first 30-days of a contract, but that in the instance of the city, it presents no cost savings.

The city will set up review for equipment purchases on a two- or three-year schedule. Knowing when an item is due for replacement may also see cost savings benefits in Hammell being able to presell an item for the city prior to new purchases. The city currently has $130,000 in Equipment Fund CDs for the purchases.

Leakage at the water tank was expected to see repair by Engineering America last week. City public works partially emptied the tank and suspected possible delaminating on a seam, causing the leak on the tank floor. Repairs are estimated at $3,540 for the work and $1,785 for the anodes which will be placed in the tank.

A small project involving a shelter, south of the Root River Trail, by the city lot on Cooperative Way, has also been granted approval. The shelter is expected to be 8 by 12 feet, open to the trail side, with benches on either side. It will provide shade for trail users and add some longevity to new signage near the location. The project, which is less than $1,000, has been granted permission by the Department of Natural Resources and will be ADA-compliant.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, July 1, at 7 p.m., at city hall. The council will also be in attendance at a Tri-City council meeting June 25.

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