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Preston council scales back sidewalk improvements

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2007
Posted in Government

The Preston City Council worked through its agenda with barely a quorum at its June 18 meeting. Mayor Kurt Reicks and David Harrison were absent. Bill Cox, Public Works, told the council that a third quote had been received for the 2007 sidewalk improvements. The low quote from Legend's Concrete at $11,422 was accepted by the council. Cox explained that he had prioritized the recommended sidewalks in order to stay within the city budget.

Preston has a budget of $5,000 to pay for the city's half of new sidewalks in 2007. Cox related that the properties at 210 Washington and the south side of a corner lot at 417 Preston would be put off for another year. Also, the allies between Preston and North and near 208 Franklin NW would be eliminated from this year's plans. Even with the cuts in proposed work, the city would still be about $1200 over budget.

Cox suggested that it may help in making the sidewalk projects more attractive to contractors if the city planned to replace deteriorating sidewalks every other year. This would allow twice as much sidewalk area to be completed in one season and may interest more contractors.

TH 52 Resolution Approved

City Administrator Joe Hoffman related that Fillmore County and several surrounding city leaders and business people recently met in Chatfield to discuss the deteriorating condition of TH 52 from Fountain north to the I-90 Interchange. Many of the cities and the county have passed a resolution asking MNDot to consider the immediate reconstruction of that dangerous section of TH 52.

Hoffman noted that MNDot has moved that section from planned reconstruction to planned maintenance. In the future plans now the section from Fountain to Chatfield is scheduled to get a bituminous overlay in 2009 and the section north of Chatfield is to have an overlay in 2011. No other work on these sections is included in MNDot's long range plans. Hoffman called the overlay maintenance a "band-aid." Council member Robert Sauer commented that it is a dangerous road. Mayor Pro-tem Heath Mensink said that semi trucks have clipped their mirrors many times on the narrow, steep curves on Nelson Hill, between Fountain and Chatfield. Hoffman added, "Overlaying junk, just gives you junk." Bill Cox agreed that cracks would soon come through the overlay and make it very short lived. The council approved the resolution.

Two-Way Car

Council member Jon Haugan asked the council to accept a gift of the Two-Way Car from the Preston Boosters. Haugan explained that they would like to take the car to surrounding city parades, but have been unable to get insurance on the vehicle or vehicles. He said that the city could get insurance on it as a piece of mobile equipment. The Boosters would still be responsible for storage, operation, and maintenance.

Hoffman stated that it should not affect the city's insurance rates to include the car as a mobile vehicle. He noted that those who drive it in parades would need to have a background check and a driver's license on file. The council voted to accept the donation of the two-way car with the provision of an agreement with the Preston Boosters for maintenance, storage, and operation.

Other Business

• Ron Scheevel discussed with council members a proposed culvert realignment in the industrial park which would allow an area to be filled in making the lot larger. Hoffman suggested that normally the city would put in reinforced concrete culverts which could last three times as long as corrugated steel. He also said that the city would need an easement for when the pipe would need to be replaced. Scheevel made it clear that the cost of a concrete culvert would be prohibitive. Mensink said that because the pipe would be more accessible in the industrial park, since there would not be blacktop or pavement over the pipe, that the shorter life metal pipe should be fine.

Scheevel asked that the city's engineer consider the possibility of a second manhole instead of an elbow, which would require less of an easement for the city. Hoffman agreed to look into it with the engineer. No action was taken by the council.

• Discussion on the State Building Code was again put before the council by Joe Hoffman. Sauer suggested that the full council should be present. The building code issue was tabled.

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