by Janet Dabbs
City Clerk Ron Clarke Tuesday, May 9 presented the Laurie Board of Aldermen a proposal to update the city’s transportation enhancement master plan submitted by Anderson Engineering.
The board is to review the submission and decide which project to present to the public as the best option.
The original Phase 1 sidewalk project has been removed from the city’s master plan. It included a sidewalk through the fairgrounds from Route O to Highway 5 near Concordia Bank.
The Phase 2 sidewalk project comprises an approximate 4,000-foot walkway from C&J Circle in the Laurie Heights subdivision, along Laurie Heights Drive, to Highway 5, adjacent U.S. Bank, then along the west side of Highway 5 to Moorview Drive, ending at the cul-de-sac at the end of Mooreview Drive. The estimated cost of this project is $232,000.
Phase 3 was completed this year, and consists of 1,200 feet of walkway from the intersection of Moorview Drive and Highway 5, along the west side of the highway, to the intersection of Highway 5 and Route O. The cost of this project was $95,000, and was partially funded through a grant.
Phase 4 includes a 3,400-foot pedestrian walkway, starting on the south side of Route O and extending along the east side of Highway 5 to Dunwurkin Road.
Anderson reported this project would be challenging, as it requires crossing two city streets and 14 commercial entrances. The estimated cost for this project is $185,000.
The total combined estimate of the project costs for Phases 2, 4 and 5 are approximately $860,000, based on current construction estimates.
The board made no decision. The information was submitted to board members and city legal counsel for review.
“Since we are going to do this, we need to schedule a public hearing and pick a phase,” Clarke advised. “We have enough information to begin the funding application process, and we most likely will get more help for the area near the nursing home.”
The sidewalk master plan is 90 percent complete, and Anderson Engineering requested board feedback and to draw up a final proposal. They proposed completing the scope of work for $8,700, within 30 days of a signed agreement.
Water line extension
In other infrastructure discussion, the board reviewed an engineering proposal submitted by Bartlett and West to complete the Route O water main upgrade.
Public works employee Dean Smith said the city needs larger lines to reduce friction and to supply water to fire hydrants. Smith suggested eight-inch lines. He said the cost of the line was miniscule compared to the cost of the rest of the project.
The aldermen discussed studying the cost and splitting the project into phases, to prepare for expected future growth. The first phase would be to supply water to a new 16-unit apartment complex being planned on Route O.
Clarke encouraged the aldermen to approve an $8,700 water line engineering study, saying it would put the city in position to apply for funding, if it becomes available. The last water extension study was done in 2011.
If the board decides to move forward on the project, Anderson offered to provide a supplementary engineering agreement to finish the project, in addition to providing a review of reports and plans, an update on water usage to verify the recommended water pipe size, a construction phasing proposal, construction cost estimates, and a brief engineering report.
Several years ago, Anderson completed surveying, preliminary design work, and easement descriptions, before a planned water extension project was put on hold.
The decision was tabled until the next board of alderman meeting.
Smith said the four-inch line that was installed in the 1980s has been maxed out for years. He also noted fire hydrants enhance safety, and lower insurance ratings for both citizens and the city.
The board requested a cost comparison between an eight-inch and a 12-inch line.
The board voted to amend an ordinance about nuisances affecting health, to include city wastewater systems.
The ordinance was requested by the public works department after an unknown party apparently dumped waste in the city wastewater system at a local car wash.
When the pollution entered the wastewater plant, it killed the microbes that process the wastewater effluent to DNR standards.
The board charged city attorney Steve Grantham with identifying the legal distinction between wastewater and storm water.
The board also discussed installing video surveillance cameras. Clarke said they could ask the car wash’s owner to tie his bays into a continuously looping video recording.
City employees reported they were able to catch the pollution the day it was dumped. The city has a 1,500 gallon holding tank at the car wash. When pollution is dumped at the car wash, it goes into the holding tank. How long it takes the waste to reach the sewage plant depends on how full the tank is. If there is a heavy rain, the effluent could reach the plant in one hour.
Another suggestion was to install a “sniffer” to detect and report gas odors. The public works crew was asked to consult other cities about how they handle this type of nuisance.
It was also reported the recent heavy rains caused no problems at the sewer plant.
“The $750 we spent with Enviroline to have the lift station checked out was well spent,” Smith said.
He said during the heavy rains 1.3 million gallons went through plant without a problem, and the water went through as clear as tap water.
He also noted the sewage plant’s average daily flow is 45,000 gallons, 65,000 gallons during the summer season. The plant is designed for a daily flow of up to 250,000 gallons. The recent rain event caused five times that amount to flow through the plant.
by Janet Dabbs