Council, landowners prep 15th St. phase two
Tree removal, sidewalk width among concerns
October 09. 2012 7:00AM
With plans to put the second phase of the 15th Street improvement project to bid early next year, the City of Dell Rapids hosted an information meeting for property owners along the proposed parameters of the project Sept. 25.
With some of said property owners in attendance at the city council’s Oct. 1 meeting, city administrator Justin Weiland updated the council on some of the concerns brought forth during the info session.
Nearly 40 attendees stopped by the meeting, held at the Reformed Church late last month. The project entails continued work on 15th Street taking up where the first phase left off at the Clark Avenue intersection through to Garfield Avenue. It also would include infrastructure upgrades to State Avenue, between Thresher Drive and 12th Street, and Garfield Avenue, between 15th and 12th streets.
“I think it was a great meeting,” property owner Chad Stroschein said at the council meeting last week. He said that keeping those affected informed throughout the process was key. “It was a nice, proactive step.”
Among the concerns property owners raised during the session were street width, sidewalk width and removal of trees.
Property owner Dan Klein suggested the council look into on-street parking on the north side of 15th Street in order to potentially eliminate the need to remove trees on the south boulevard.
“How far do you have to push it to save those trees – that’s the question,” he said.
Shelli Klein said that along with the importance of putting a four-way stop at the Garfield Avenue/15th Street intersection, maintaining the aesthetic of the neighborhood is important.
“It’s just the beauty of the whole neighborhood,” Klein said of the trees along the street.
Mayor Scott Fiegen said that tree removal and yard space were the biggest concerns coming out of the Sept. 25 meeting.
The plan is set to include about six feet of space between the back of the curb and the edge of the sidewalk for the boulevard there, putting many trees in the line of construction.
“Having that gap between the sidewalk and curb is helpful (but not mandatory),” Weiland said of possibly altering the plan to keep some trees intact. He said that the space is often used for snow storage during the winter.
Property owners also questioned the need for a five-foot-wide sidewalk as opposed to a narrower one. Weiland said the reasoning was to proactively accommodate future Americans with Disabilities Act provisions requiring that width.
Tentatively, the council is set to hear final decisions on the plans at the Oct. 16 meeting, with a notice for resolution of necessities set to mail out in November.
“Our goal is to get this project to bid early enough in the year to get the best prices,” DeWild Grant Reckert rep Trent Bruce said.
Weiland said the city hopes to bid the project in February to confirm “contractors who are hungry” for work.
--Are we getting new street lights on 15th Street?
Yes, there are plans to upgrade street lights.
--How much money is the city going to be borrowing?
Approximately $1.1 million.
--If we get a percentage of voters to opt out, what happens?
There is a 20-day referendum period where property owners can sign a petition. If 55 percent or more of the property owners’ frontage along the assessed area of the project has signed a petition against the project, it would make the resolution null and void.
--Will it be safe for kids walking to and from school during construction?
Yes. Safety is a primary concern of the project and the contractor is required to keep this site safe.
*From DGR rep Lance Mayer’s summary of 9/25 meeting questions
|Luke Tatge/Dell Rapids Tribune
At the intersection of 15th Street and Clark Avenue, the location of the possible future boulevard is staked off.