Waconia studies 2014 Infrastructure Improvement Project

Improving a city’s infrastructure sometimes seems like a never-ending process and in Waconia, plans are already well underway regarding the 2014 Infrastructure Improvement Project.
Potential aspects of the project — including street reconstruction, work in the Interlaken 4th Addition, trail and storm water improvements, park upgrades and fire station work — were discussed and a public hearing associated with the project was approved by the Waconia City Council during its meeting on Monday, Oct. 21.
In a presentation led by City Engineer Jake Saulsbury, P.E. of Bolton & Menk, Inc., the council reviewed the major aspects of the project, which overall has an estimated cost of $2.355 million.
In terms of the street reconstruction, First, Maple and Cedar streets are affected.
First Street would be reconstructed between Walnut and Maple streets at 44-feet wide (truck route) with storm sewer improvements and a sidewalk installed on both sides. Maple Street would be rebuilt between First and Lake streets ate 44-feet wide (truck route) between Main and First streets and 42-feet wide (residential section) between Lake and Main streets. It would also have storm sewer improvements and a sidewalk installed on the west side. Cedar street would be reconstructed at 30-feet wide between First and Main streets (no sidewalks). Sanitary sewer and water main improvements would be part of the street reconstruction portion of the project.
The Interlaken 4th Addition portion of the project includes bituminous paving, the installation of a sidewalk on Somerwood Drive and spot repair of damaged or settled curb and gutter sections and street sections.
A new eight-foot trail will be constructed on Main Street starting at Old Beach Lane, traveling south for approximately 320 feet to meet with an already constructed trail that heads towards Legacy Village. The trail will include a retaining wall with fence for areas with steep grades. A joint effort between the city, Carver County Water Management and the ISD #110 will result in a storm water reuse project that ultimately will capture and store storm water runoff to irrigate the athletic fields at Bayview Elementary School.
In terms of park upgrades, both Interlaken Park and Clearwater Mills Park will see improvements. At Interlaken Park, a full size double tennis court and reduced size basketball court, along with connecting trails, will be constructed. At Clearwater Mills Park, upgrades include the installation of a play area curb, picnic table pad and connecting trails. At the fire station, concrete work will be completed both inside and outside of the truck bay area and sidewalk, curb and gutter will be removed and replaced.
The project will be funded through several ways, including a bond sale, special assessments, various city funds and a grant (for the storm water reuse project).
Assessments could potentially affect 33 properties for the street improvements (at $98.83 per front foot).
For the sewer improvements, six properties could be affected. The six properties represent 22 Equivalent Residential Units (ERU), which are used to determine cost apportionment based on typical water use for different use types in mixed use areas; they are based on the previous 12 month’s water usage.
The water improvements affect 23 properties (39 ERUs). In general, there are more sewer ERUs than water ERUs because there are more users affected by the sewer repair than the water repair.
For street and storm water reconstruction, properties are subject to 50 percent of project cost assessed for standard street section based on front footage lengths (corner lots are also subject to the 50 percent of total frontage length). Extra depth/width, sidewalks, trails and paving/overlays are 100 percent city cost. The estimated cost for sewer improvements is $3,409 per sanitary sewer unit and water improvements are $3,269 per water unit.
The council approved the feasibility student for the 2014 Infrastructure Improvement Project and called for a public hearing on the project to be held during the council meeting on Monday, Nov. 18. Residents affected by the project will be notified by the city about the project and the public hearing. The city is also planning to hold an open house regarding the 2014 Infrastructure Improvement Project prior to the public hearing.
Also during the meeting, the council approved the 2014 Prosecution Contract with the Carver County Attorney’s Office. County Attorney Mark Metz was present to discuss the contract and answer any questions.
The county attorney’s office prosecutes all cases (felonies, gross misdemeanors, misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, ordinance violations and juvenile delinquencies) for every city in the county except for Chanhassen. The office also provides other services, such as an on-call attorney available 24 hours a day, appearances at all bail hearings to advocate for conditions of release, public safety and victim safety, and training for law enforcement.
The amount a city pays for its contract equates to its percentage of the total surcharge for the service as determined by the city’s three-year case load average. The 2014 contract is based on the average case load from 2010-12, which for Waconia increased from 11.47 percent (2009-11) to 11.56 percent. The increase in the three-year case load average means Waconia will pay slightly more for its contract in 2014 ($9,087.20) than last year ($8,923.89).
Waconia has the second highest three-year case load average, trailing only Chaska (55.36 percent). Victoria (10.99 percent) is third and Watertown (6.28 percent) is fourth.
In other matters:
• A public hearing on the final roll of assessments associated with the 2013 Infrastructure Improvement Project will be held during the council’s next meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4.
• The Good Samaritan Society is exploring the addition of a post-acute care wing and renovation of its existing skilled nursing facility at its complex located on 5th Street West. Site plans for the proposed renovation and addition are expected to be reviewed in the coming months. The addition would be built on top of a current parking lot, meaning a number of parking spaces would be lost should the addition become reality.
In an effort to accommodate its parking needs should the project proceed, Good Samaritan applied for an Interim Use Permit for the temporary resurfacing of a parking area located at the west end of its site (southeast corner of 5th Street W and Cherry Street S intersection). The goal is to gain approval from the city now so the parking area can be prepared and ready when the time arrives to actually use it.
Residents within 350 feet of the property were notified about the request an no public comment was received regarding the matter during a public hearing held Oct. 3. The council approved the permit.
• Public Services Director Craig Eldred introduced Jacob Ciuraru of Green Corps to the council.
According to its website, Green Corps offers a one-year program that strives to train organizers, provide field support for critical environmental campaigns, and graduate activists who possess the skills and commitment to tackle environmental issues. Ciuraru has an Environmental Science degree from the University of Minnesota.
Ciuraru, who is a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Environmental Science, will be working with the city for the next 10 to 11 months to help with green infrastructure and storm water issues.
He will provide education and outreach opportunities for residents as well as build relationships with agencies on behalf of the city. Already, Ciuraru has created curriculum that can be used by the city even after his service in Waconia ends and has taught area students about raingardens and how people can protect Lake Waconia.
• Garrett Becker was appointed to be a firefighter with the Waconia Fire Department. He will fill one of two firefighter vacancies within the department.
• Under state law, the city may certify for payment with tax collections, delinquent utility accounts and other charges for service that have not been paid during the course of normal collection procedures throughout the year. The city is preparing to certify these charges for payment with 2014 taxes but before it can do so, it must hold a public hearing. Citizens with past due amounts for utilities or goods or services that have benefited the property (sno wv removal, weed elimination, tree maintenance, building permit fees, etc.) will receive official notification about the public hearing, which has been scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18.
• The council approved approximately $58,000 in upgrades for the city council chamber’s 10-year-old audio/visual recording and presentation equipment. The work will be done by Provision Media.
The upgrades include the transition from analog to digital connectivity, a new projector, a wireless presentation system (allows for the connectivity of iPads, laptops, iPhones, etc.), an additional camera, new microphones and mixer, and high definition cameras and recording capability.
The city had planned on making the improvements in 2014 but they are doing them earlier to take advantage of recent of fiber, wireless and other technological upgrades completed this year.
• Pertaining to a minor subdivision request and variance requests at 132 5th Street E and potential effects on the parcel abutting to the south, the council approved a storm sewer study to better define the existing storm sewer conditions and potential plans for future storm sewer improvements in the neighborhood. The study will cost approximately $10,000 to $12,000 and will be funded by the city storm water fund.
• The city’s 2014 Pond Cleaning Project is scheduled to address the Lakeview Terrace, Hunters Crossing and Pheasant Ridge ponds. The goal is conduct the cleaning in late January or early February 2014 although some improvements requiring work within the street or street right-of-way would need to wait until the spring.

Contact Todd Moen at todd.moen@ecm-inc.com

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