Peterson council approves road project

By : 
Judah Torgerud

During the August meeting of the Peterson City Council, the board voted to delay paving work on Park and River Streets until 2020. But the council reconsidered that action at its most recent meeting on Sept. 11. After receiving a recent bid significantly lower than others, council members decided to proceed with the project.

Dunn Blacktop bid

Dunn Blacktop recently submitted a quote of $85,729.56 for the price of roadwork for the Park and River Streets project. This figure was $4,000 lower than other quotes and the council spoke with Dunn Blacktop project manager Fred Kruckow and WHKS engineer Scott Huenke at the meeting.

Mayor Tim Hallum was curious about the start date of the project if awarded, asking Kruckow, “Do you think they could get it done this fall?” To which Kruckow replied, “If the board could approve it, we could get to it this next week.”

Kruckow said that he inspected the road to determine the best approach for paving and determined that crushing the current asphalt, then relaying and pressing it, would be the best option. Along with this, he said the council will only pay for what is used, stating, “If they bring in a load of rock, they buy a load of rock.” To reassure the council on the final pricing, Kruckow said “I’ve been doing this for a while now, there won’t be any surprises where I’m way over on my mix.”

Mayor Hallum stressed that keeping water of the roads is a high priority. “We don’t want ice where people are going to be getting out of their cars,” he noted. Kruckow assured the council that crowns on the road will be adjusted if need be to keep water off them, and that the new pavement will be about 2½ inches compacted asphalt. This material will consist of the old asphalt once it’s been ground up, and then recompacted with some extra material added to it.

When Mayor Hallum asked his opinion, Huenke agreed with the plan and said that if there is extra material generated it could be used on Park Street to make those ditches more viable in their current condition, but even after the road work is done the ditches can still be dug more if need be. And to address the council’s concerns about any projects that should be done before roadwork, he said there are “signs that the existing infrastructure is good.”

Council concerns

Councilor Rue asked how this might affect water drainage, but Huenke felt they have a pretty good idea of the existing patterns and their effect on other streets. Huenke admitted that a full survey would address all potential problems, but it would result in additional engineering costs. Huenke also said, “I’d say you have a pretty good grasp on it now. I don’t think you’ll be pushing a whole bunch of new water in new areas.”

Citizen Gary Quarve expressed concern about a low spot in the road in front of his driveway where water builds up. As the construction is being done in front of his premises, the spot will likely be raised so the water does not accumulate anymore. City Worker Rick Lee said, “I think a lot of the water will be alleviated”.

To alleviate concerns about water redirecting into people’s properties Kruckow said, “Before we pave, Chris and Rick can look and we’ll say, ‘hey does this look ok to you guys?’ and you could have Scott take a look at it.” Councilor Rue asked if River Street was going to be widened, to which Kruckow replied “we’re pretty much going to give you back what you got there.”

Funding debate

Councilor Rue wondered if the city could get the property owners living on the streets being worked on to help pay. “I think we should get assessments to the property owners,” he said. “I would like to know how much the property owners could contribute to the entire project. The property owners on County 25 paid a certain percent of that cost.”

Mayor Hallum noted, “Chris can correct me if I’m wrong, but right now we can turn around, we’ll have $41,248 in our streets and we did talk about transferring out of our electrical, which would not short our electrical account, $344,482. We got this price, the city pays for it, we move on. The city can pay for it, we’re not charging people.”

Councilor Colbenson agreed. “I’d rather just pay for the project and not assess the homeowners because we’re jumping to the opportunity and burning homeowners with an extra expense at a moment’s notice,” he said. The council then debated the issue, with some noting that County 25 property owners had to pay for sidewalks and water work.

 After some discussion, Mayor Hallum asked for a roll call vote on a motion to proceed with the River and Park Street project, with the city paying the costs. All voted in favor except Councilor Rue, who voted nay.


The next meeting of the Peterson City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, October 9, at 6:30 p.m. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.