East Grand Forks road works progress


City council members voted 5-2 to approve a feasibility report for a large project at 20th Street Northwest and Fifth Avenue Northwest and schedule an “improvement hearing” for residents to poll on that plan at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. December 7, in the council chambers.

The project would replace the sewer lines and other infrastructure under the street and rebuild the two streets themselves with concrete or asphalt. The sewer work and a concrete street would cost a total of $ 2.98 million, according to city engineers. The sewer work and a new asphalt street would cost $ 2.64 million.

Residents who live along or near the 20th and 5th would be at the mercy of $ 1.52 million or $ 1.42 million between them via special contributions, which is a type of tax that cities can charge specific landowners for public works that benefit those properties.

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City council members Clarence Vetter, who did not immediately return a request for comment from the Herald on Tuesday night, and Marc DeMers, who feared some residents near the project area might be unfairly charged for it, voted against . Special contributions can be levied on people who live in the immediate vicinity of a project (a “before” benefit, in civic jargon) and on people who live nearby (an “end” benefit). Several properties should be billed for both because they live on one street and would benefit from the work on the other, and some should be billed for work up to Seventh Avenue Northwest, which forms a junction shaped like a Y with the 20th and is due to have a segment worth about 130 feet rebuilt as part of the project.

In a two-bird-one-stone plan, the December 7 hearing should also serve as a neighborhood meeting where city staff can gauge residents’ interest in the project in the first place and explain its ins and outs. and outs.

Assuming residents approve the project, the city is ready to solicit bids for the works and ultimately to hold a second public hearing – an “assessment hearing” – during which residents who wish can formally object to assessments that they would be charged.

The street and the sewers rebuilt has been in the works for over a year. Initially, city officials presented a smaller-scale project for which a city policy stated that it would be paid for entirely by residents. The current regime would also incorporate sewer work by East Grand Forks Water and Light, which could then pay a portion of the costs, as well as money freed up by a series of increases in residents’ monthly sewer charges – which, perhaps counterintuitive, would mean smaller special assessments for residents there.

Land use, new ice cream machine and the HollyDazzle parade

In related news, board members:

  • Preliminary approval of a city-wide land use plan that can help inform development plans and other large-scale plans through 2050. Cities in Minnesota are updating similar plans every five years.
  • Approved the purchase of a $ 121,000 ice packer for the East Grand Forks Civic Center.
  • Agreed to classify a property at the intersection of 13th Street South East and 11th Avenue South East that was confiscated for non-payment of taxes as “non-preservation”, a move which, in fact, means that the city does not intend to use the land for public benefit and is clearing the way for Polk County to sell it. The city did the same in 2017, but was scheduled to start again on Tuesday because county officials lowered the asking price for the package from $ 10,000 to $ 5,000.
  • Ok’d an event permit and a parade permit for the Grand Forks Downtown Development Association’s “HollyDazzle” event on Sunday, November 21st.

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