$2.3m. street plan moves ahead
By Seth Schmidt
Planned street and underground infrastructure improvements for six blocks of Fourth St. and four blocks of Morgan St. moved ahead at Tracy City Hall last week.
The city council unanimously “ordered in” the project and called for construction bids. Chris Larson, a consulting engineer with the I&S Group of Mankato, indicated that construction contracts could be awarded by late April, with work beginning in mid-June. Work would be “wrapping up” by September or early October.
Estimated cost of the 10-block project is $2,261,307. Of that total, Lyon County will contribute about $465,000 because of Fourth Street’s status as a county road. The remaining $1,796,163 would be the City of Tracy’s expense.
According to a preliminary assessment roll, property owners abutting the streets would pay for 52.3% of the city’s share, or $940,269.
The proposed assessment roll is based upon city assessment policies, which call on benefiting property owners to pay 50% of storm sewer costs, 25% of sidewalk costs, 100% of water and sanitary sewer improvements, and 25% of street upgrades. Street, water and sewer assessments are calculated on a front-foot basis. Assessments for storm sewers are based on area and land use.
Allowances were made for the city to pick up the extra expense of new sanitary sewer pipes greater than eight-inches in diameter, to reflect the benefit to the city at large for the oversize pipe.
The Fourth St. project calls for a bituminous mill and overlay for the four blocks between Craig Avenue (Hwy. 14) and Rowland St. A limited amount of water main and sanitary sewer improvements are also planned. Curb, gutter, and sidewalk would be removed and replaced only when necessary for underground utility work.
The two blocks of Fourth between Rowland and South are slated for complete street reconstruction, to include sidewalk and curb replacement. Underground work will include both new water main and sanitary sewer lines, and new sanitary sewer and water service connections.
Full reconstruction of Morgan St. between Sixth and Second streets, is also planned. In addition to a new street and base, the four-block segment is also slated for a storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main improvements. Sidewalks, curb and gutter along Morgan will be removed only as needed for utility work.
Where feasible, project construction will have the goal of reducing inflows of clear storm water into the sanitary sewer system.
Old catch basins will be replaced as needed
An I&S engineering report states that it is uncertain how old water mains and sanitary sewer pipes are in the proposed construction areas. However, the Morgan St. section has had 14 water main breaks within the past 8-10 years. During one of the repairs, broken pipe stamped with dates in the 1890s was found.
The report states that the sanitary sewer predates the last major roadwork on Fourth and Morgan streets, meaning it older than 35 years.
City Council members have stated that they want to get underground infrastructure upgrades done at the same time that streets are torn up.
Objections raised over assessments
By Seth Schmidt
Proposed assessments for the planned Morgan and Fourth streets project stirred vigorous objections from several affected property owners at a public hearing at Tracy City Hall last week.
“Even 30% of those figures is vastly too much,” said Jeff Salmon of Salmon Automotive. The preliminary assessment roll listed Salmon’s 225-feet of Fourth St. frontage for assessments of just under $37,500.
“You can’t go over the tax value,” said Salmon.
Other preliminary assessments on Fourth St. properties included Tracy Publishing, $17,413; Tracy Apartments, $17,556; Tracy American Legion Post, $9,357; Tracy Eagles, $12,445; Hope Development Achievement Center, $16,630; Presbyterian Church, $34,879; G&R Electric, $9,907; Mark Priegnitz (State Farm) $11,781.
Fourth St. properties located between Rowland and South streets are proposed for street, water main, sanitary sewer, sidewalk, storm sewer and water and sanitary service assessments. Parcels between Rowland and Craig, where less infrastructure improvements are planned, have lower assessments. One residential property with 88-feet of Fourth St. frontage has a proposed assessment of just over $12,000.
Morgan St. preliminary assessments included Terry Schaar (Tracy Lanes) $21,410; Jim Garvin Law Office, $14,825; Warren Hemmingsen, $19,680; PC&B Properties, $31,726; US. West Communications, $26,751. Improvements planned for Morgan, between Sixth and Second streets, include street, sidewalk, water main, sanitary, and storm sewer.
For more on this article see this week's Headlight-Herald.