Spring Valley council discusses County Road 1 agreement
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:00 AM
Fillmore County Commissioner Chuck Amunrud attended the Dec. 10 city council meeting to address an agreement between the City of Spring Valley and Fillmore County about the section of County Road 1 from Section Avenue to Minnesota Highway 16, a half-mile stretch.
Amunrud said it would be nice to have the matter cleared up by the end of the year. He said the county intends to rebuild and repair this section of the street and maintain it for 10 years, adding the county is in the engineering phase of the project currently. After that 10-year period, the county wants the City of Spring Valley to take over responsibility of the street. The city would then be responsible for all future maintenance.
The commissioner also said it's "good common sense" to move County Road 1 - to have it turn left at the utilities plant, and continue down Section Avenue north out of town, instead of going straight at that intersection to Highway 16 and then back into town.
City Engineer Bryan Holtz with Yaggy Colby & Associates asked why a 10-year time frame was needed.
It was noted by Amunrud that if the county would turn it over before the 10-year period, it would lose state aid funds.
Holtz said he thought the council would be "handcuffing yourself" if it agreed to the 10-year time frame. "The city council now would be making a decision for the city council 10 years from now," he added.
He also noted the agreement should state a required condition of the road when it is turned over. "There are lots of questions that need to be ironed out that can't be answered at a city council meeting," Holtz said.
Mayor Jim Struzyk agreed, noting he felt decisions shouldn't be made for a council 10 years from now.
Amunrud said when the 10 years is up, that the city would be acquiring a street that is virtually new, because it will be a concrete highway, like Highway 44, which has had minimal maintenance, and will last 40 to 50 years.
Struzyk noted, "We've agreed to work with you to get it done but I don't see 10 years. I see maybe reviewing it in 5 years or after 10 years the council can accept it."
Amunrud noted that it is a dilemma for the county because County 1 "shouldn't be there."
"It's the worst road in the county," Amunrud added.
The council agreed to have the agreement amended to include a clause about the condition of the road when it is turned over. The item was tabled and no decision was made about entering into the agreement. It was noted both the county and city attorneys would review the agreement.
Amunrud concluded, "We will proceed with trying to get this agreement hashed out."
When discussing the 2012 final property tax levy and 2013 budget, Zimmer noted that it had been cut down to the "bare bones." The total tax levy is $914,632. The general levy was listed at $370,000, the library, $109,736; EDA, $20,000; and parks, $120,000. Zimmer added that the city has "been consistent with the levy for the past five years."
The council approved pay estimate No. 5 for the South Broadway street project. The total per this estimate to be paid to Elcor Construction was $307,178.51. Holtz noted the project cost did run over the contracted amount by 6.5 to 7 percent due to costs for excess rock and an increase in aggregate base.
The council approved paying a bill received from Ron Merkel in the amount of $31,310 for materials and construction of the new trail bridge located near the ambulance station.
It also approved hiring Mike Zimmer, pending a physical and background check, as a new member of the Spring Valley Fire Department. Council member Todd Jones noted that Zimmer has "all of his certifications, plus some."
The next meeting of the council has been rescheduled due to the holiday. A brief meeting will be held Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 12:15 to "just do year-end payables," noted Zimmer.