Council approves opening of bond sale

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday approved opening the sale of about $5.21 million in general obligation bonds to be used to pay for major city projects in 2015.

The bonds will provide funds for seven projects, according to Rebecca Kurtz of Ehlers & Associates. The projects include this year’s neighborhood overlay and state overlay, the Lakeview Boulevard and Virginia Place projects, the U.S. Highway 65 resurfacing, the northeast sewer and water extension project near the new St. John’s Lutheran Community on Fountain Lake and a stormwater pond.

Kurtz said the bonds would have a term of 21 years and interest would begin in February. The sale date would be June 22.

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She noted the city has an AA- bond rating.

In other action, the council:

• Accepted a bid for $2.55 million for the Lakeview Boulevard reconstruction from north of Abbott Street to south of Wedge Street.

The project includes the reconstruction of the street, repairs to existing utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements and construction of a multi-use path.

The bid by Ulland Bros. of Albert Lea was the only one received for the project.

The engineer’s estimate was $2.69 million.

The city did not receive any bids on a separate portion of the project for a new fishing pier by the Blackmer culvert. City Engineer Steven Jahnke said he will evaluate how to rebid the project.

• Approved allowing the messages on electronic signs to change every six hours in the downtown instead of every 24 hours.

• Approved several items regarding the Wedgewood Cove Townhomes to be built on the north side of West Ninth Street and Wedgewood Road.

The council approved the development agreement and the preliminary and final plat for the project, along with a conditional use permit, which allows for the site plan development.

They also approved rezoning the property to allow for townhome development rather than single-family homes.

The project is expected to have 30 townhome units when completed.

• Approved petitions and waiver agreements from St. John’s Lutheran Community and the Shell Rock River Watershed District regarding the construction of Crescent Drive. The cost to build the road will be split evenly. The road will provide the main entrance to the new St. John’s on Fountain Lake and will likely start out as gravel.

• Awarded a contract to Ellingson Drainage of West Concord for about $127,000 to replace the sanitary sewer forcemain from the lift station near 19th Street and Milo Avenue to its discharge into the gravity sanitary sewer system in front of 2313 Margaretha Ave.

The city received three bids. Ellingson’s was the lowest.

• Approved a resolution supporting an amendment to Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Act that would define sex-trafficked children under age 18 as crime victims.

• Heard an update by Rebecca Gisel of Alliant Energy about the business’s community partnership report.

Look to the Tribune on Thursday for information about the Virginia Place and Fifth Street reconstruction project.