2/28/2013 12:51:00 PM Final costs to finish downtown Lindstrom
exceed available budget, one project delayed
The city of Lindstrom is looking at a “To Do List” of projects which are the city’s responsibility in order to finalize the highway corridor project. One had to be deleted from this year’s work plan when council members learned February 21 that the bank account won’t stretch to cover the whole list.
The west end of First (by the brick apartment building) will get finished for about $40,000; the Irene Ave. intersection (near the middle school) needs about $7,000 to complete it; the Park St. city parking lot is still on the list for about $130,000. But, total reconstruction and improvements on St. Croix Avenue (in front of BP and the Community Ed building to Broadway) will have to wait. Council unanimously felt that engineering sketches for this frontage road, can be reviewed in 2014. The estimate “...is higher than I expected,” engineer Jon Herdegen told council.
At $215,000 St. Croix Ave. came in vastly more expensive than early costs city officials had envisioned when first making plans. Council member Joe Wishy did not support doing St. Croix, saying “it is fine as it is” and he also didn’t support the First Street segment as a city expense. City Administrator John Olinger reminded council that Lindstrom got two city streets rebuilt by MnDOT at no cost to the city, and that First has always been presented as one the city wouldn’t assess to landowners.
Council did vote 5-0 to direct engineer Herdegen to get the bidding process started on the projects still on the list. Bids need 21 days. IN another matter-- Council got no recommendation yet from planning commission members regarding an animal trapping ordinance. There was a public review of proposed ordinance wording at a planning commisison meeting where more questions than answers arose. The city is looking for more tools to restrict setting traps on public lands such as city parks.
There continues to be discussion on how the city can restrict trapping through an ordinance, said Planning Commission liaison Council member Curt Flug. Council appointed Flug to a channelization feasibility task force. A park board member will also be appointed, but the council is waiting for a name to be forwarded. The county is putting a task force together to review a plan being investigated by the Lake Improvement District (LID) to connect North Lindstrom and North Center lakes with an improved channel. Flug was eager to volunteer, saying he’d been active with a navigation restoration citizen group earlier that worked to open up the North-South Center lakes connection with a new channel in Center City.
Al Wahlgren, of the Lake Improvement Dist. Board, sits on the task force for the LID and is a Lindstrom resident. He brought some historic photos and information to last week’s council meeting that he says show the interconnectedness of the Chisago Chain of lakes before roadway fill and construction alterations. If channelization is restored it would make the Chisago Chain second only to Lake Minnetonka in uninterrupted boating area, Wahlgren added. Council acted on certifying a $2,000-plus delinquent water and sewer bill to a business parcel.
The county has to officially add this to taxes owed. The severely past due amount is in excess of another $2,800 that’s already been certified to the property. Council is still waiting for an engineering report on costs to revise the layout of Park Street, which became a one-way when the highway pairs came in.
Lindstrom Hardware owner Jeff Blesener requested the city return Park to a two-way, because not being able to legally turn off the highway to access the hardware store is inconvenient. Council promised Blesener last week they’ll make a decision soon because any work to alter the intersection will have to be done before the final asphalt layer is applied this summer.