City prepares for street improvements

By Katie Friedman Correspondent

Bids for the 2018 Street Improvement Project have been opened, and at its most recent meeting, Tuesday, April 17, the Maple Lake City Council adopted resolutions declaring costs, ordering, and receiving a final assessment roll. A resolution ordering a May 15th assessment hearing was also adopted, and further action has been deferred until the council’s next meeting once the hearing is complete.

The project area includes portions of Seventh and Eighth Streets Northwest (from Robert to Oak), Robert Avenue North (from the north end to Sixth), Maple and Birch Avenues North (from Seventh to Sixth), and Sixth Street Northwest from the city park to Birch Avenue. Improvements will include complete bituminous replacement for the full neighborhood, installation of storm sewer and drain tile, and stubs to lots for an optional sump pump outlet.

Two options are being considered for curb replacement: One for spot repair of about 15 percent of the most damaged sections, and the other for complete curb replacement on Robert Avenue North, the western 450 feet of Eighth Street North, and the western 350 feet of Seventh Street North, with remaining areas to have spot repair of the most damaged sections.

With a base bid of $584,930 and $63,010 for option A or $137,850 for option B, Knife River Corporation – North Central turned in the lowest bid.

A total estimated price for the project – including engineering, legal, fiscal, administrative and all other costs – was $851,000 for Option A and $942,000 for Option B. But City Engineer Phil Gravel was pleased to report that bidding had been tightly competitive, and costs have been revised downward to $816,337 for Option A and $906,150 for Option B. The city will be responsible for 65 percent of the cost, with assessments to cover 35 percent. The amount to be assessed for option A will be $293,548, and if option B is selected, that total will be $324,982.

Assessments to residential property owners, originally calculated to be $3,070 per parcel, have been adjusted to $2,940. Should the council vote for Option B, those residents in the area slated for total curb replacement will be assessed an additional $1,014, which Gravel said is close to the original estimate. Assessments can be paid over a period of eight years (beginning in 2019) and will bear annual interest at a rate not to exceed 5 percent. All property owners affected by the improvement will be given an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed assessment at a hearing May 15th, 7 p.m., at City Hall. After the hearing has closed, the council will make a decision as to which option to pursue. Regardless, construction is planned to begin in June and be substantially completed in October.

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