Improvements on the pothole-, rut- and crack-ridden Sixth and Ninth streets between Washington and Water streets were ordered Tuesday at the Northfield City Council’s regular meeting.
The council’s resolution also unanimously ordered the preparation of plans and specifications for the project, with an estimated cost of about $1,288,034. Council member Jessica Peterson White was absent.
A few members of the public raised concerns at the Feb. 5 public hearing on how construction could affect access to businesses during construction, which could start in May and wrap up in November depending on future council direction.
Construction may get in the way of businesses for a day or two, said Brian Erickson, the assistant public works director and assistant city engineer.
“We’ll do our best to keep that impact as small as possible,” he said.”We will work with the owners of the pharmacy [at the corner of Sixth and Water streets] to make sure we’re doing what’s best for the business.”
He said that the owner of Dufour’s Cleaners asked about allowing short-term parking near the business.
“We need to look at that just a little bit closer, yet,” Erickson said.
The council could consider back-in parking on the north side of Sixth Street from Division Street to Water Street, an idea that members of the public and at least one council member criticized, as it would be on a hill and potentially challenging for some drivers to drive backwards into the spot.
Public Works Director and City Engineer Joe Stapf said it’s a recommendation that could be tested and later covered up with the final touches if it doesn’t work out.
The surface of Sixth Street, which is considered to be in the downtown area, would be removed and replaced, along with the curb, gutter, sidewalks and driveway approaches, according to the recent staff recommendation.
In addition, the underground water, sewer and storm sewer infrastructure would be replaced.
A water main would be installed to connect the water system, non-standard sewer connections would be fixed and any lead water lines would be replaced.
Improvement recommendations for the residential segment of Ninth Street are similar, but also include narrowing the street to 32 feet.
The cost of the Sixth Street portion is estimated at $863,682. The Ninth Street part of the project is estimated to cost $424,352.
A preliminary benefits appraisal set the reasonable value benefits range for the proposed project at $70 to $80 dollars per front foot for a typical single-family lot — or about $5,200 for a 70 feet of frontage property at $74 per front foot — and $165 to $180 for a typical interior commercial site.
Additionally, the preliminary report listed the range as $48 to $58 per front foot for a typical corner commercial site and separately appraised the benefits for the Econofoods site at $94 per front foot, listing the approximate benefits at $31,000 total.
Those special assessments, which are based on how the property values would benefit from the improvements, would help pay for about $152,172 of the total cost, according to the proposed funding listed in the feasibility report.
Bonding could cover $466,146 or $750,225, depending on the method pursued by the council. Either way, the storm water, sanitary and water funds would take care of the remainder, the report said.
Reach reporter Kaitlyn Walsh at 645-1117, and follow her on Twitter.com @NFNKaitlyn.