Council tackles four needed street projects for 2019

By: 
Jordan Gerard

The Spring Grove City Council must come up with nearly an extra $334,855 in order to pay for four necessary street projects.

When the bids were received, City Engineer Tim Hruska said they didn’t come in as low as the city expected. He attributed the higher bids to the rising price of construction materials, which increased about 35% this year.

The council had several options to consider, including scrapping the entire project for this year and finding the money or take out two of the four streets (reducing the price by about $150,000). 

If the council had taken out the work on the one-way portion of Maple Drive and 2nd Ave. NW (by the school), those two projects would have been pushed back to next year with potentially higher construction costs.

About $580,000 was budgeted for the projects.

Councilmember Scott Solberg cited tripping hazards on those roadways needed to be taken care of. He made the motion to use money from the water, sewer and infrastructure funds and potentially the electric fund to cover the difference.

“All those projects need to get done. They are all hazards,” he said.

The council approved that motion. Generation X Construction of Rushford will complete the road projects for $914,855.

Roadwork includes one-way portion of Maple Dr., 2nd Ave. NW by the school, 1st Ave. NW by city hall and 3rd Ave. SW by Trollskogen Park.

Improvements include controlling the drainage from 3rd Ave. SW into the park, reconstruction of 2nd Ave. NW and 1st Ave. NW (and a new ramp to access city hall) and new curb, gutter and sidewalk for Maple Dr.

The city did not discuss assessing the project costs to property owners or businesses, but will be sending letters soon about the work to be done.

 

City administrator

After emails between Mayor Sarah Schroeder and city staff, the city hall staff of City Clerk/Treasurer Erin Konkel, Administration Lyn Solberg and Administrative Assistant Stephanie Jaster has been attending meetings in order to act as a council liaison.

Their duty is to attend meetings such as Parks and Rec, Library and others in order to represent the council. They will also complete work for the committees on behalf of the city and inform the council if any action is needed from them.

Schroeder said if the process works well, the council will reopen the discussion of having a city administrator.

The application period for that position is still open until May 1, during which time applications will be collected. Schroeder added she and Councilmember Karen Folstad would keep open communication with applicants until the city decides to keep having staff attend meetings or hire an administrator.

Councilmember Travis Torgerson said it was beneficial having city staff at the planning and zoning meeting.

Other business

The council approved a request to use the grass area by the Swim Center for the Spring Grove Car Auction on May 3 and 4, contingent upon wet weather. 

If the area is too wet for people to park, the overflow parking would have to be located elsewhere, in order to avoid creating a muddy mess for Syttende Mai camping.

Konkel reported 116 kids were signed up for private swimming lessons this summer. The hiring list will be completed by the May meeting.

Prices for lessons, daily passes, family passes and more were announced in the council packet. 

There was no change from last year; however, family passes are on sale until June 1. 

The pool will open June 7. TNT Painting will paint both large slides, and Friends of the Pool will replace the canopy on top of the slides.

The city council and staff will also make an appearance in the Syttende Mai parade, they decided.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Spring Grove City Council will be held May 21 at 6 p.m. at 168 W. Main St.