Speaking on behalf of Bluff Country Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Vonda Budde began the first of two public hearings held Monday evening by giving the Preston City Council an update on the organization’s work.
“We applied for a Small Cities Block Grant for 15 homes in Preston plus the Vesterheim 16-unit complex to be rehabbed. The complex is getting close to being completed and we have processed seven of the 15 homes,” Budde said.
She explained that even though they are receiving many applications, the guidelines for the use of the grant are proving more difficult due to income and floodplain issues.
For a family of four to be approved for the home grant they cannot make over $51,000.
Guidelines also mandate no work may be done in a floodplain.
“But the homes that are getting worked on really needed it,” she concluded.
With no comments from the public the hearing was closed.
Second hearing
The council then moved on to the 2014 North Industrial Utility Improvements public hearing.
City engineer Brett Grabau, from Stantec, explained, “What we are here to discuss are the utility improvements for the properties north of State Highway 16 and west of Trunk Highway 52 (TH52) as part of the North Industrial Park.”
There are two separate improvements sites. The first is south of Highway 16 and west of TH 52. According to Grabau, water and sewer utilities currently exist within the TH 52 right-of-way just south of the improvement site.
So, he proposes to add new 10-inch water main and eight-inch sanitary sewer utilities to be extended north from their existing locations to serve the industrial and commercial lots.
The second site is located north of Highway 16 and west of TH 52. Here the water and sewer utilities are proposed to be extended north and west of the previous state improvements, which would include of new 10-inch water main and 8-inch sanitary sewer utilities. The utilities will be placed south of Highway 16 to the west and will be extended under Highway 16 at a location near Golfview Drive, providing access from the parcels north of Highway16.
This will provide existing lots with water and sewer services for wastewater conveyance, portable water, fire suppression and fire protection with hydrants.
The total estimated cost of the project is $283,221.24, with $14,103.36 deducted for the estimated city credit and $140,000 deducted for the estimated state funding, for a total of $129,117.88.
The proposed assessments and Utility Commission funding are $38,735.36 for both Preston Dairy and Farm and Gehling Auction and $51,647.15 for the estimated Utility Commission balance.
“This is a public hearing. Once the project is bid and the construction starts, we’ll finish this process with an assessment hearing at that time. The council has the right to adjust and levy the assessments if they feel necessary,” Grabau stated. “A reasonable estimate of the total amount of the project cost to be assessed to the benefitting property owners for this north portion is $77,470.72. This estimate is approximately 27.4 percent of the project costs of the improvement.”
With no input from the public, the council approved the resolutions to order improvement and preparation of plans, to approve plans and advertise for bids, and for reimbursement of project expenses.