Street projects move forward

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council moved forward with the 2012 street project at its Monday, Nov. 7, meeting. Estimated at $2.8 million, it is described as one of the larger projects the city has done in the last six years.

The council unanimously approved a resolution ordering improvement and preparation of plans; consider a proposal for an engineering services agreement with Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc. and a resolution for advancing Municipal State Aid Street Funds.

Roughly 25 people attended the meeting. Most were residents or representing those who live along the three streets that will be done. The streets are:

• Second Street NW/NE, from Highway 21 to Columbus Avenue;

• Second Avenue NW, from Main Street to Second Street NW;

• First Avenue NW, from Main Street to Third Street NW.

Chris Cavett of S.E.H., the city's engineering firm, presented the project. It will be a full replacement of utilities and the streets. This includes the water main and the storm sewer. Cavett said many of the utilities are old and some are made of clay pipes. Most street widths will be 44 feet, although there will be some changes. Part of First Avenue will be narrowed to 38 feet and 32 feet.

Sidewalks will be replaced where they already exist. There are exceptions; it is recommended one area of Second Street not be replaced. Cavett noted the area is very steep. Also recommended is that new sidewalk be added along Second Street to continue the existing sidewalk.

In the break down of the cost of the project it is estimated the total assessments are $845,414.

Cavett said of the $2.8 million project, $1,050,000 can be covered by the Municipal State Aid Street Funds. Second Street and First Avenue NW are designated as state-aid streets and eligible for the funding.

Council member Kristin Guerrette asked if there was a plan B in case the city can't get advances on the funds? Cavett said the organization is encouraging, almost begging cities to take advances on the funds that are available.

Among the questions from the audience were those concerning the placement of sump pump boxes and work on alleys. Cavett replied there will be sump pump boxes added on most properties, but it will not be an added cost. There will be some work done in portions of the alleys to help improve water issues.

Cavett said as part of the schedule there are plans for an open house in March for the project so people can see the changes being proposed.

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