City Council OKs street repairs

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday ordered street improvements to be made in the southwest portion of the city on 3.9 miles of roadway.

The project involves the bituminous overlay and miscellaneous curb replacement on the following streets:

• Canary Drive from West Ninth Street to Swanhill Drive.

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• Spartan Avenue from West Ninth Street to the cul-de-sac.

• Gateway Drive from U.S. Highway 69 to Swanhill Drive.

• Skylark Lane from Southview Lane to U.S. Highway 69.

• Pinehill Drive from Southview Lane to Plainview Lane.

• Maplehill Drive from Southview Lane to Plainview Lane.

• Elmhill Drive from Birch Hill Drive to Plainview Lane.

• Regency Lane from West Ninth Street to Gateway Drive.

• Penn Avenue from West Ninth Street to Gateway Drive.

• Southview Lane from U.S. Highway 69 to Fourth Avenue.

• Swanhill Drive West Ninth Street to Plainview Lane.

• Rosehill Drive from Southview Lane to Plainview Lane.

• Birch Hill Drive from Southview Lane to Plainview Lane.

• Plainview Lane from Skylark Lane to Fourth Avenue.

City Engineer Steven Jahnke said the project is


proposed for preventative maintenance to extend the life of the pavement. The streets are about 45 years old.

He noted that the assessments for the overlay are about one-fourth of the cost of a complete reconstruction.

Estimated cost is $1.13 million, with assessments equaling about $701,000. A total of 328 properties would be assessed.

Extra work would be done on Regency Lane to address water collecting in the street.

Resident Lynn Berven said he thought his road, Southview Lane, was in good shape and did not need the overlay. He also raised concerns about South Fourth Avenue, which was repaired last year but already showing signs of wear.

In other action, the City Council:

• Ordered the advertisement of bids for the state improvement project in northern Albert Lea.

The project includes the bituminous mill and overlay and miscellaneous curb and gutter replacement on Y.H. Hanson Avenue from Hammer Road to Sykes Street, on Hershey Street from Bridge Avenue to Y.H. Hanson Avenue. and Sykes Street from Bridge Avenue to 700 feet west of Y.H. Hanson Ave.

• Approved using tax abatement as an economic development tool to assist developers. Developers have to meet specific criteria to use the tool.

• Changed the fee schedule to allow for a $5,000 fee for businesses applying for tax increment financing or tax abatement. The fee covers administrative costs.

The council also approved a monthly $12 fee for homes where the owners did not consent to  the new radio read water meters.

• Declared Hometown Pride Cleanup Day for 9 a.m. to noon May 3 at the city’s transfer station and demolition landfill.

The day gives city residents the opportunity to dispose of most items free of charge or at reduced rates.

Reduced rates are as follows: free for brush and yard waste, household garbage and demolition debris; $10 per appliance, sofa or mattress; $5 per furniture piece; and $3 per passenger car tire.

• Awarded a contract for miscellaneous bituminous patching. The project involves patching the roadway in areas where there were water main broke over the winter.

Total project cost is estimated between $30,000 and $50,000, depending on how many patches there are.

This work had previously been completed by city workers.

• Ordered the improvement and preparation of plans for an alley paving project in the alley between First Avenue and Second Avenue from West Main Street to William Street.

The city received a request from nearby property owners asking for feasibility report into the matter.

Estimated cost is about $42,000.

• Awarded a contract to Process Equipment Repair Services out of West Bend, Wis.,

for the repair of the grit collection system at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The project will be paid for through the city’s sanitary sewer fund.

• Authorized a grant through the Minnesota secretary of state’s office to purchase new voting booths in all of Albert Lea’s wards.

The grant is for $893 in new booths at each of the six wards.

• Heard a presentation from the Knights Baseball Association on the potential use of banner sponsorships at Snyder Fields. The group also hopes to rename the fields at the park after contributing businesses.

The council voted to approve the sponsorships contingent on approval by the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which owns the fields.

• Approved a resolution supporting the Choose Civility initiative.

• Had a public hearing about the issuance bonds by the city of Hayward on behalf of American Baptist Homes of the Midwest. A portion of the proceeds would be used to finance the cost of construction, improvement, renovation and equipping of improvements at Thorne Crest Retirement Community.

No one spoke during the public hearing.

• Approved a policy addressing the formula for tax-increment financing.