There are some substantial street reconstruction projects on tap in 2013 that cost in the six figures, but at a series of public hearings at Monday's Crookston City Council meeting, no citizens came to complain or express any concerns. In fact, one citizen was downright complimentary of the city after getting his questions answered.
But it was the least substantial and least expensive project, an bituminous overlay project extending only 200 feet, that spurred impacted Crookston residents to speak their minds and, in the end, the council removed the project from the 2013 street improvements list.
The project, an overlay of Sampson Street from the intersection of South Central Avenue to the end of the street, is adjacent to a reconstruction of the rest of Sampson Street, coming in the wake of a water main replacement project. While the reconstruction is projected to cost approximately $277,800, the overlay is expected to cost $16,531. The city picks up most of the cost of the overlay, with affected residents being assessed $12.50 per front foot of their properties.
But Sampson Street resident Brian Anderson, citing the small number of citizens on the street benefiting from the project and the lack of traffic on that end of the street in general, said he didn't think the project was necessary.
Public Works Director Pat Kelly said the street is showing signs of fatigue, and that it is best to overlay it now instead of putting it off until later, when a more expensive project would be needed.
"I've lived there 23 years and it's looked like that the whole time," Anderson responded. "It might look nicer if you do it, but there's no traffic. It's not a ton of money, but I just think it's kind of senseless for the city and for us."
Kelly told the council he "wouldn't lose any sleep over it" if the council pulled the project from the list. "If it goes bad in a few years, it goes bad," he said.
The council approved an amended resolution with the modified 2013 street improvement project list.
The other projects, in addition to the Sampson St. reconstruction, include:
• An overlay of 4th Ave. NE from Alexander to Walsh streets, estimated to cost $52,638
• A reconstruction of Widman Lane from Johnson Place to Fisher Ave., estimated to cost $231,000
On reconstruction projects, impacted property owners are assessed $25 per front foot.
Fire Chief Tim Froeber announced that Chris Klawitter has been hired to fill the full-time firefighter vacancy at the CFD. Currently, the fire chief in Fisher, Klawitter will start in Crookston on Jan. 14.