LETTER: Ten facts about the road project coming through downtown
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 7:45 AM
Despite the facts, misinformation, outright lies and smears continue to circulate about Highway 44. Someone is stirring outright hatred. ONCE AGAIN, here are the facts:
1) The state (MnDOT) is going to pay up to $1.5 million to rebuild Highway 44 within the city limits. That is to cover the cost of digging up the roadway to put in the sanitary sewer, water pipes and storm sewers, filling in the hole again and putting in the roadbed again, which supports the mill and overlay surface.
2) The "up to" $1.5 million has nothing to do with trees and flowerbeds. MnDOT doesn't care what we choose there.
3) If we weren't doing the infrastructure, MnDOT would be just remilling and redoing the overlay, which it would pay for, which would be less than $1.5 million though. Whatever money MnDOT puts in, it is for Highway 44 construction.
4) The city reconstruction is part of the whole project, which includes the redoing 44 west of town, just as been done from Spring Grove to Hokah.
5) MnDOT-St. Paul runs the bidding process for the whole state. It sets the schedules. Because of some internal problems, St. Paul was behind schedule.
MnDOT came to us in December. There was a window of time in which the new council could tweak "amenities" although the rest of the plan was firm. Ex-mayor Saundy Solum was on that conference call with MnDOT so she knows how the "tweaking" started.
6) MnDOT expects only one bidder because there is apparently only one company big enough. It is the same company, which has done work for MnDOT the past two summers. The company will have the entire infrastructure as part of the bid.
Given the state of the construction industry today, there is not going to be a difference between a March bidding and an April bidding. Since there is only likely to be one bidder, we are all at the mercy of that bidder.
However, since the company has already done two summers of Highway 44, it knows what needs to be done and how.
7) When choosing a home, location is the first consideration, followed by affordability of the home itself and the cost of living in the community. Young families, middle-agers and retirees all need affordability!
For everyone, a good school is vital - parents want a good education for the kids and the rest of us know that a good school keeps the property values up.
Without a grocery store, communities start the downhill slide so Red's is important.
All of the other things like police, fire, ambulance and medical care are part of the community care.
All these requires the city council to be prudent spenders and prudent about keep the care necessities running.
Flowerbeds are a miniscule part of what is necessary to keep the community services going.
8) The tweaking done in December was to accommodate the Legion Post and storeowners (who were never consulted) who thought the flowerbeds interfered with their business.
The recent tweaking was done because HIS business found the beds would wipe out their parking access (they were also never consulted.)
9) The infrastructure replacement jumps our indebtedness to nearly $5 million, NOT COUNTING INTEREST.
10) What really counts is the friendliness and kindness of the residents to each other.