Cologne council considers costly renovation project

By Zach Kayser, Staff Intern

A massive public works renovation project may be in store for the city of Cologne, as was revealed during the city council meeting held June 11.

City engineer Jake Saulsbury presented the findings of his preliminary study, which painted a very dire picture of the infrastructure of the older part of Cologne. According to Saulsbury, the last time new roads were put in place was during the 1970s, and the neighborhood water system dated back as far as the 1930s.

In order to renovate the antique and crumbling public works system, Saulsbury recommended a complete overhaul of the city section between Highway 212 and Lake Street West/Paul Avenue North. These upgrades would include new roads, storm sewers, sanitary sewer lines, and water mains.

However, the council was a bit taken aback at the project’s hefty price tag – nearly $6.3 million. Council members discussed several means of defraying the cost, including separating the project into several parts over an extended period of time, applying for federal grant money, and tax increases. In the report he submitted to the Council, Mr. Saulsbury suggested an assessment policy that would handle more than one-fourth of the cost, or $1.7 million.

Saulsbury said that if work were hypothetically begun on the renovation immediately, construction could be completed in 2013. However, the Cologne project remains in the preliminary stages, pending further council action.

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