The City of Storm Lake is proceeding toward a grant application with Buena Vista County for a reconstruction project on C-49.
The joint venture would include 1,400 feet of C-49 east of North Lake Avenue. The county is working on obtaining funding to upgrade the entire road between old and new Highway 71.
The City of Storm Lake plans on installing an urban section of road, which includes curb, gutter and storm sewers. The city also wants to develop a snow dump on an old railroad right-of-way north of C-49.
One goal of the project would be to reduce the grade in the road.
The total project cost is $514,000, which includes engineering, construction and administration, according to City Engineer Jim Winterton. The application the city is submitting is requesting 60 percent of the total project costs. The funding would come through the Iowa Department of Transportation TEA-21 program.
The city's portion for the 1,400-foot stretch would be 31 percent, or $137,600, and the county's portion at 9 percent, or $40,000. The city's portion is higher because of the curb, gutter and storm sewers. The county is looking at construction costs of approximately $650,000 for the remainder of C-49 to the Hwy. 71 bypass, Winterton said.
Council member Dennis Vaudt expressed concern about applying for grant funding for that road as opposed to others in Storm Lake. He suggested West 10th Street and the unpaved section of Expansion Boulevard through the industrial park.
During the meeting, Vaudt also asked for a recess to further discuss the project with the city administrator.
Winterton said the C-49 project has been in the works for several years. An application would have been made last year, but the county decided to wait on the project, he said.
Winterton also said funding has been secured for the Expansion Boulevard project. He said the city has applied for TEA-21 funds for the West 10th Street project before, but said the state looks at commercial and economic impact of a road.
City Administrator John Call said the city will look at funding a West 10th Street project with local option sales tax and road use tax revenues.
He also addressed Vaudt's concerns. "This is a small part of an entire project of improving the road from (North Lake) to new 71," he said.
While not the primary reason for the city's involvement, Call said that area needs to be looked at as a growth area.
"We know there's going to be growth out there," he said.
Pat Kelly, city street supervisor, said the proposed snow dump would be used as the primary one for snow removal. Currently a site next to Little Storm Lake is used. Kelly said the proposed snow dump would help filter the snow as it melts, instead of having it melt and drain directly into Storm Lake.
In other news:
* The railroad crossing on Northwestern Drive will get safety updates after the city received a grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
The grant was one of seven applied for by the city to upgrade railroad crossings.
Winterton said that crossing was selected because of how the DOT prioritizes projects.
"(The state) prioritizes them based on traffic counts and train counts that go through there," he said.
The work is a joint project between the city, DOT and Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad Company.
The project will upgrade the existing signals and add stopping arms. The estimated cost is $100,000. The city must pay 10 percent or $10,000.
Winterton said he expects construction will be done in the spring of 2003. The railroad company will install the safety upgrades.
The city will continue to apply for the other crossings, and is also submitting an application for the railroad crossing on Geneseo Street.
* The council selected Kuehl and Payer to perform design and construction services for the water main replacement on the upcoming North Lake Avenue project.
Kuehl and Payer will design plans for the upgrade of the existing water main with a new water main installation. The project will be part of the North Lake Avenue reconstruction project.
Newer and larger water lines are needed in that area, said Winterton. The existing lines are deteriorating and do not meet minimum pipe size standards for fire protection needs, he said.
The cost of the water main replacement is estimated at $100,000, said Winterton. The cost of engineering services will be approximately $12,935.
* The council gave final approval to two ordinances to increase water and landfill rates.
Landfill rates will increase $1.25 per month, from $4.75 to $6.
Water rates will also increase to help pay for an expansion project at the city water plant and well field.
An average 5,000 gallon a month residential water bill will increase from $11.48 to $16.41. The monthly minimum bill will increase from $7.31 to $8.01, while the gallons in the monthly minimum will decrease from 3,253 gallons to 1,500 gallons.
The residential rate per 1,000 gallons will go up 16 cents to $2.40. Commercial and industrial rates vary with usage. They are $2.40 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000 gallons; $1.73 per 1,000 gallons for the next 150,000 gallons; and $1.11 per 1,000 gallons over 160,000 gallons.
* The city passed the final version of an ordinance to change the way mobile home parks are billed for water.
City Clerk Patti Moore said both mobile home park owners have contacted the city and said the changes are acceptable.
The ordinance will have the city directly bill mobile home park owners for water instead of individual mobile homes. The ordinance will take effect May 1, 2002.
Reasons for the change include the fact that distribution systems in the parks are not owned by the city, access to the meters is difficult, and meters are damaged because of exposure to the elements. These problems cost the city close to $1,000 a month in lost revenue, according to the city.