by Dennis Dalman
By a unanimous vote, the Sartell City Council decided at its July 9 meeting to go ahead with the long-discussed drainage solution in the city’s Celebration neighborhood.
The final proposal was outlined by April Ryan, a water engineer.
The council approval happened at a public hearing on the matter. Two men, both Celebration residents, spoke at the hearing. Both said they oppose the proposal because their lots do not have drainage problems, that it would be better just to fix the lots where there are problems.
However, Sartell City Engineer Jon Halter noted a project of that nature is best done in a consistent manner rather than spot-fix this or that problem lot. Water amounts vary from year to year, thus no one can predict which lots will have problems and which will not.
For years, many of the residents of Celebration experienced drainage problems, causing water to pool up, especially in alleys, and cause slimy patches, frozen areas and slippery conditions causing safety worries. Residents there used sump pumps but had, at best, spotty success in getting rid of the pooled-up water.
City staff and engineers met with Celebration residents in their neighborhood last January. A feasibility study by the city’s engineering firm of Short, Elliot, Hendrickson was authorized in February and presented to the council in May. The study came up with several alternatives, and the firm recommended, with city-staff agreement, Alternative 3. That variation will put an overlay on the alleys. Drain tiles will be added to yards where they don’t currently exist. Drain-tile stubs will be extended to the right-of-way at each property line, and each lot will have a yard drain installed. Existing curb and gutter will remain except for areas that need repair.
The cost of the project is $373,000 for the overlay portion, to be paid by the city. The drainage portion will cost about $90,000 and $62,000 of that would be paid for by assessments, estimated at about $800 per lot. The exact cost of assessments will be calibrated once the project bids are in.
The work is expected to be done this fall.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.