A historical perspective from 25 years ago – March 30, 1990

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St. Joseph residents will see the light

by Jennifer Peterson

news@thenewsleaders.com

This summer, St. Joseph residents may finally see the light.

Planned improvements at the intersection of CR 75 and College Avenue, including a new traffic signal system, new pavement, sidewalks, curb, gutter and water-main, are presently under review by the Minnesota Department of Transportation for a June start date, according to City engineer Joseph Bettendorf.

May 30 has been set as a bid-opening date and construction is projected to commence around the third week of June. Any qualified contractor may offer a bid, Bettendorf explained.

An audience of about 30 city residents gathered at city hall during the city council meeting March 15 for a public hearing on the plan and listened to Bettendorf outline the projected changes:

  • a traffic signal system will be installed at the intersection of CR 75 and College Avenue.
  • portions of Cedar Street frontage road (from 1st Avenue NW to College Avenue and from College Avenue to 1st Avenue NE) will be eliminated and the frontage road will be relocated to Date Street.
  • Date Street will be improved with pavement, water-main, curb and gutter.
  • the intersection of College Avenue and CR 75 will be rebuilt.
  • College Avenue will be rebuilt and sidewalks will be added on College Avenue between CR 75 and Date Street on the east and west, and between CR 75 and Ash Street.

The total estimated cost of the projects is more than $1.101 million. Federal Urban Aid funds are expected to cover approximately $642,104 and State Aid funds for Stearns County will contribute about $260,413 of the expense. The city of St. Joseph must supply $130,561.

Assessments for new streets will run $30 per frontage foot, Bettendorf estimated. Curb and gutter will cost about $7 per frontage foot and water-main about $25 per frontage foot. There will be no assessment for public sidewalks, he noted.

The assessment formula to raise funds for the city improvements is still preliminary and may change as cost and bid updates are considered in coming months. Another public hearing is to be scheduled toward the end of the summer to discuss the final data and formula.

The new plans are currently being examined to insure they are in accordance with State Aid criteria and guidelines for the Federal Highway Administration.

“If the plan proceeds on schedule, all underground and surface construction should be completed before the snow flies,” Bettendorf said.

In other business the council:

  • considered the St. Joseph Parks Commission recommendation to: replace the warming house at Kennedy skating rink before next winter, prepare the pavilion in Centennial Park for painting by the Jaycees, fence the tot lots to prevent vehicle traffic, and replace the water fronts in Millstream and Centennial parks.
    • The Parks Commission recommendation for the development of Morningside Park, which is presently outside the city limits, was also presented. Recommendations for development in 1990 include a pedestrian opening on the north side, creation of a simple athletic field and picnic area, a walking/jogging path around the perimeter, and inclusion of a regular, scheduled maintenance plan.
  • appointed Leo Sadlo as city council representative to the Area Planning Organization because of a recent vacancy.
  • announced the election of Hub Klein as chairman of the City Planning Commission and indicated city residents with an interest in zoning, and residential and business growth are being sought to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission.
  • approved expenses for one member of the Public Works Department to attend a special seminar in St. Paul on updated techniques, mechanic and maintenance of city streets.
  • announced a meeting of the board of review at 7 p.m. April 25 in city hall. At this meeting city property owners will have an opportunity to meet with the city and county assessors and city council members to discuss property appraisals and general property taxes.

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