by Logan Gruber
At its May 26 meeting – after reviewing a feasibility study and hosting an open forum – the Sauk Rapids City Council approved a plan to overlay 18th Street N., from Hwy 15 to 9th Avenue N.
During the meeting, Terry Wotzka, the city engineer, stated the work needing to be done was maintenance and that it would help extend the life of the roadway. He said it was similar as to when to re-shingle a roof and when to replace it.
“The right maintenance to do at this time on this street is an overlay,” Wotzka said.
Overlay work typically involves the milling and removal of two inches of existing asphalt. A fresh layer of asphalt is then placed onto the roadway, which usually will also receive new lane markings. Pedestrian sidewalk ramps located on the road will be replaced if they are not in compliance with Americans with Disability Act standards.
The pavement on 18th Street is about 20 years old, according to the feasibility study. The project cost is estimated at $412,000.
Very few properties actually have a driveway leading out onto 18th Street. The Holiday gas station and one commercial lot have access on the west end of 18th Street, while three residential lots have driveways accessing the street near 7th Avenue N.
The two commercial properties would be assessed at 25 percent of the cost of the improvements but only on the portion of the roadway the properties touch. Their assessment, together, would total about $32,000.
The three residential properties would be assessed at 50 percent of the cost of an equivalent 32-foot-wide street over the portion of the roadway the properties touch. Their assessment, together, would total about $2,100.
The remainder of the cost would be footed by the city – about $378,000.
A public hearing was held at the meeting. A landowner who would be assessed for a partial cost of the overlay stood to speak.
Tom Bosl, of Avon, represented not only himself but also Jim Miller at the public hearing. Bosl and Miller own the commercial property on the north-side of 18th Street N., and feel the assessment is out of line.
“Mr. Wotzka [Terry Wotzka, the city engineer] mentioned this work is maintenance, so [the cost] should come out of the maintenance budget,” Bosl claimed. “The existing roadway is not substandard, in our opinion,” he continued, “. . . and the assessed improvements will not increase our property value in any way.”
Miller also wrote a letter to the city council on May 19, stating many of the same points.
After hearing Bosl, the mayor closed the hearing. The plan was approved unanimously as is.