by Dennis Dalman
A public hearing about proposed solutions to ongoing water problems in the Celebration neighborhood in north Sartell will take place at the June 11 Sartell City Council meeting.
The city council called for the public hearing at its May 14 meeting. The proposal for Celebration raised some concerns in the past, with some council members suggesting the neighborhood’s original developer should perhaps bear the costs of fixing the water problems.
That issue surfaced also at the May 14 council meeting, however, it was countered by April Ryan, water-resource engineer for Short Elliott Hendrickson, Sartell’s contracted engineering firm. Ryan outlined the alternative solutions as to how the water problem could be resolved. She said the developer of Celebration neighborhood did, in fact, meet all city requirements when designing and building that neighborhood years ago.
Water build-up in parts of the neighborhood has caused many residents to use sump pumps to direct water away from their property, but unfortunately the water just builds up somewhere else, especially in alleys. In cold weather some parts of the neighborhood resemble small skating rinks. The water problems have caused safety concerns.
Months ago, Sartell officials and engineers from SEH met with about 25 Celebration neighbors to get their input. As a result of that meeting, the engineers came up with the five alternative “fixes” that range in cost from $373,000 to $1,086,000. The fix most favored by engineers as cost-efficient and doable is dubbed “mill and overlay.” It would involve installing drains in yards and drain tile under curbing to facilitate water drainage and also redoing alleys so water flows freely where it ‘s supposed to flow. A couple of the solution options, such as hooking up sump pumps directly to the storm-sewer system, are infeasible for a number of reasons, not the least of which is high cost.
The mill-and-overlay project would be the least expensive option, at $373,000.
The solution, whichever is decided, will be paid for by the city but with assessments to property owners to help cover the costs. The mill-and-overlay solution would average about $814 per homeowner, it was noted. The city’s portion of the cost could come from the street fund.
The mill-and-overlay method, if it’s chosen, would also involve improvement of drainage at the intersection by Celebration-Pinecone Road N. and Seventh Street.
All Celebration neighbors are being encouraged to attend the June 11 public hearing to give their input. Once a solution is decided, the design process will begin and construction work would begin this fall. The Monday, June 11, council meeting will begin at 6 p.m.