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November 21, 2019

10/17/2019 4:13:00 PM
North Branch gets 2019 road update

North Branch’s elected officials celebrated the completion of paving 372nd,  south of the school complex on Grand Avenue,  last week. The improved one mile section is now an attractive option and hopefully reduces numbers of vehicles looking for alternate routes on surrounding neighborhood streets.

Council held the ribbon-cutting prior to the regular council meeting Tuesday Oct 8.  

Back at city hall-- Public Works Director Shawn Williams went over the 2019 road projects and briefly discussed with council his 2020 plans.

Williams said the new franchise fee, collected by energy providers in the city, generated $280,000 which gave a big boost to tackling road work needs.  

State Aid brings in another $700,000 which has gone into the Hemingway Avenue extension project bringing it northward to Hwy 95.  Hemingway is 68 percent complete.  Work will pickup again on Hemingway in spring 2020.

Rounding out the roads account-- city local levy generated another $170,000.

Council member Kelly Neider commented, “I am proud to say  council made the decision (to impose the fee) and move forward on road projects.”  She said other cities instead charge property owners along a certain street project area, and North Branch residents should be aware they are chipping in a few dollars monthly on their utility bills to build this account instead.

North Branch could actually use another $1 million to catch up on road needs, Williams reminded council stating, what is budgeted now is about half what’s needed.    

The Local Option Sales Tax referendum was defeated by city taxpayers, however.

Before the next council meeting, October 22, the council will do a ribbon-cutting on the utility extension facilitating the long range large housing and commercial development plans around 400th and Flink Avenue.  The utility extension was assisted by a $400,000 state grant North Branch won.  They’ll meet up and return to city hall for the regular council meeting to begin at 7 p.m.

Council also watched a police department swearing-in as David Janssen was promoted to Patrol Sergeant for the NBPD. He’s been with North Branch since 2001.

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