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BE City Council adds $62,500 one-block sidewalk to SRTS

July 23, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor ( , Faribault County Register

Lots of projects and lots of decisions to make about those projects.

The Blue Earth City Council made a series of decisions about some of their upcoming building, street and sidewalk projects during discussions at their regular meeting last Monday night.

And, while some of those decisions have financial implications, others do not. Or at least, not yet.

Article Photos

The Safe Routes to Schools plan calls for sidewalk to be constructed along the north side of Highway 16 to this driveway entrance to Blue Ridge Apartments. Now it will be continued one more block.

Here is a rundown on what they decided last Monday.

Safe Routes to Schools

The council has been discussing a project called Safe Routes to Schools for some time, ever since they received a state grant which enables them to proceed.

The project includes a series of sidewalks in the city that will ensure children having a safe route to walk to school.

On Monday night, the council voted to add one more block to the SRTS project area.

The plan already was to extend sidewalk along Highway 16 (Leland Parkway) from First Street to the Blue Ridge Apartment complex.

On Monday night the council voted to proceed with adding one more block, from the Blue Ridge Apartments west to Grant Street. The cost of the additional one block is estimated to be $62,500.

The cost will be added to the city's share of the overall project, which will be funded by a bond to be sold next year.

2018 Street Project

While they have not formally adopted the overall plan for the 2018 Street Project, the council did take a preliminary first step.

The Street Committee has been discussing next year's project would be on 13th Street from Main Street to Rice Street (three blocks) and on Galbraith Street from 12th to 14th streets (two blocks).

The council learned that there are several power poles that are too close to the street, if the street is widened to 36 feet during the construction next summer.

"Blue Earth Light and Water is aware of this," city engineer Wes Brown told the council. "In fact, if the project is going to be done, they would like to move the poles yet this summer, in fact soon."

This means Bolton and Menk Engineers would need to develop preliminary plans so the spots for moving the poles could be staked out, Brown explained.

The council said OK to preparing the preliminary plans, which means the 2018 street project will more than likely become reality. The estimated cost of the project is $922,500.

Public Works Building

The council also took a formal vote on a proposed site idea for the new Public Works building.

The architect working on the design had two possible layouts and wanted the council to choose one.

The 64 foot by 104 foot building will be placed where the former liquor store building now sits. That building, used for storage, will be torn down.

The question was whether to place the length of the new structure an east/west line or a north/south line.

City staff recommended the east/west layout, which would put the building up against the current salt shed.

The council agreed and passed a motion to proceed with the plan.

Other business

In other business at last Monday's meeting, the council:

Once again discussed several dilapidated houses in the city.

Administrator Ibisch reported search warrants were executed last week to inspect the inside of two houses, one on East Sixth Street and one on West First Street.

Both were in extremely poor condition he reported, and are not habitable.

"They both are in terrible shape," he said. "In fact the one on West First Street was so bad it was hardly safe to enter it."

The next step is to get official reports on their condition and to contact the owners. Eventually the plan is to have the houses torn down, either by the city or the owners themselves.

The city has taken ownership of a similar house at the corner of Nicollet and Tenth streets.

City attorney David Frundt presented a transfer of property ordinance for the council to consider. It would involve the sale of the property to two adjoining neighbors for a sale price of $2,000.

Agreed to a recommendation of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) that the city purchase one of the new Sprout statues at a cost of $1,500, while the EDA splits the cost of another one with the Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC).

Voted to grant two temporary liquor licenses.

One was to Habitat for Humanity for Aug. 26 at the Veterans Memorial Building at the fairgrounds. It will be in conjuction with the Last Ride event scheduled for that date.

The other was for Oswald Brewery to sell their product at the Veterans Memorial Building on July 26 during the county fair.

The council also said OK to a variance request by Scott Bush for a 10x16 shed to be placed on his property.



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