NYA council takes initial underpass step

NYA City Council members approved request for proposals for the engineering and design of a Highway 212 underpass project. (Adam Gruenewald/The Times)

by Adam Gruenewald
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NYA council members took some initial steps towards a potential Highway 212 project, OK’d requests for proposals for design and engineering.
During their most recent meeting on July 10, council members approved took their first official action towards a Highway 212 underpass project.
Council members have had substantial discussion on the Highway 212 project in recent months, most recently during a work session June 26.
During the meeting on Monday, City Administrator Steve Helget refreshed the council on a variety of factors involving the project including the 2020 mill and overlay project, the reception of a $1.2 million Safe Routes to School grant, and updates from Bolton and Menk and MNDOT.
“We’ve had the opportunity to get some reports and hear about the location and challenges of construction,” said Helget.
As discussed previously, the tie-in with the mill and overlay project provides the right opportunity.
“The city would be responsible for the preliminary design for the underpass as part of the mill and overlay project in 2020,” he said. “The idea of this whole concept is to build it into the state’s project.”
Helget and council members added that the city remains in contact with Carver County regarding their comprehensive plan and the plan is to have a booth set up at Stiftungsfest to share the comprehensive plan and development and vision for the community. As planned, the 12-week long preliminary design process could be prepared and held until after Stiftungsfest, before letting MNDOT and other groups whether the council plans to move ahead with the project once a better idea on total cost is ascertained.
As the council overall had previously expressed some interest in moving forward during the June 26 work session, much of the discussion on Monday centered around the potential reaction of the community at Stiftungsfest.
Council member Dick Stolz, who voted against solicit proposals, expressed hesitation at the quality of responses and said that Stiftungsfest may not be the best way to gauge public opinion.
“How will you determine whether the community is leaning one way or another based on Stiftungsfest?” he said, as he and other council members realized input at meetings has been lacking. “We don’t get a lot of response or participation.”
Mayor Carol Lagergren said that Stiftungsfest might work if valuable information is offered.
“It’s an excellent time to share information,” she said, adding that presenting the rough idea of the plan with some fine-tuned details with regards to location and other factors. “We’ve answered some of those questions and want to share information and take feedback.”
With Stolz voting against, the council voted 4-1 to seek proposals from both SRS Consulting Services and Bolton and Menk.
In other news, council members approved an addition $30,000 pay request to Shanahan Construction for the Wilkommen Park restrooms project that was 85 percent complete as of July 10.
As reported earlier with the initial $60,000 pay request, council members have approved a total of $119,500 towards the project, with the declared intent to spend about $90,000 of city and park funds. Donations are still being collected that so far have totaled $6,500 with other savings measures considered as well by the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Both Helget and electrician Bill Grundahl updated the council on the project, saying that the structure is up and the roof is completed with work done on electrical, plumbing, fixtures and framing as well.
“It looks really nice as it should and it looks pretty good,” said Stolz.
Mayor Carol Lagergren added her praise as well.
“Kudos to the group for getting it done in a timely fashion,” she said.
Council members also OK’d a $19,921 bid from Hamburg-based William Mueller and Sons for replacing the south fire station parking lot and a $3,000 contract for NYA-based Jensen Decorative Concrete for curb work for the fire station, approved a lawful gambling permit for Stiftungsfest for no more than five days and awarding of less than $50,000 in prizes per year, postponed approving contracts for the open bus driver position, and heard from Tim Litfin regarding the 12th annual Tour de Tonka race that will head through NYA on Saturday, Aug. 5.
The NYA City Council will next meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 24, for a work session with a regular meeting to follow. Among the items upcoming are two items recommendations from Planning and Zoning, one for the potential rezoning of Outlot A to residential and the other about a rezoning request of the house near Dairy Queen owned by the Central School District.

Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.