by Dennis Dalman
A study will be done regarding city plans to do repairs in parts of the Celebration neighborhood in Sartell where water problems in a few parts of the neighborhood are severe, causing erosion and slippery-surface issues.
The “fix” will require drainage and alley-surface overlays, as well as some turf restoration. Curb-and-gutter will have to be replaced in some areas.
Jon Halter, Sartell city engineer, said the water problem is caused by cracked pipes, and in a few areas water is running across the ground constantly. About 200 feet of pipe, all told, is causing the water problem in a three to four block area.
The Sartell City Council approved the study at a recent meeting. The vote was unanimous, although council member David Peterson raised concerns about the repairs perhaps setting a precedent.
Will the city, he asked, assess all of the costs to the affected property owners, or just part of the cost? The water issues, he said, appear to have been caused by the fault of that neighborhood’s builder, not road problems, so why should the city be responsible for repairs?, Peterson said. And what about east Sartell?, he added, noting that some of its crumbling roads have long needed repairs.
City Administrator Mary Degiovanni said each neighborhood’s streets or other problems are repaired on a schedule and that assessments are based on studies, including the ones needed for the Celebration neighborhood. Because of the constant water problem, an urgent situation exists. Some neighbors have been running sump pumps nearly non-stop.
City staff hosted a meeting Jan. 18 for Celebration residents and about 25 attended, most of them favoring a city fix for the problem, Degiovanni noted.
Repairs would be paid for by the city’s sewer fund, she added.
A cost assessment will be prepared, assessments will be determined, and the council will make the final decision as to whether to have the city fix the problem.
The study will be done by Short Elliot Hendrickson, the city’s contracted engineering firm.