Dassel joins new road project because of turn lane

May 26, 2008

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Not only has Dassel City Council formally accepted Howard Page and Rosalind Ewald’s petition to build a street in the northwest corner of the intersection of Highways 12 and 15, but also will join in the project. The proposed turn lane from Highway 15 to the access into the property will benefit the city’s property to the west as well.

Spectralytics and possibly other businesses are proposed for the city property to the west of the Page property at the intersection.

“We have no choice,” City Administrator Myles McGrath said.

The council scheduled Monday, June 9, 7 p.m. for the street improvement hearing. Following the hearing, the engineer can plan the specifications and drawings for the project, according to the city attorney, Andy MacArthur.

The assessments for the turn lane are estimated to be $4,000 an acre, according to an updated feasibility study done by city engineer Chuck DeWolf of Bolton & Menk. The City of Dassel also might have the storm water collection done regionally.

Kelsey Page, attorney for Howard Page, said the Ewald and Page petition is for the first 586 feet of the roadbed donated by Page Nov. 5, and for the parcel on the north side of it. Ewald will close on the parcel to the north Monday, June 2 for Cedar Crest of Dassel, a $3.5 million, 48-unit assisted-living facility.

The project to put in the 38-foot wide, 9- to 10-ton bituminous street, curb and gutter, sanitary sewer, 10-inch PVC water mains, storm sewers and pond for the first 586 feet of street will cost a total of $397,000, DeWolf said.

The turn lane from Highway 15 will cost an additional $101,000. DeWolf said road construction crews can’t just build a slab of bituminous over the shoulder of the road. The shoulder must be excavated and rebuilt so it is as strong as the roadbed under Highway 15, he said.

The cost of the rest of the street in the city property to the west will be an additional $238,400, DeWolf said.

DeWolf also estimated the cost of the assessments for Page and Ewald. In addition to the $4,000 an acre for the turn lane, the street assessment will be $138 to $150 per foot frontage, $33 to 36 per foot for sanitary sewer, $40 to $43 per foot for water mains, $15 to $30 per foot for storm sewers, and $2,900 per acre for a storm water collection pond for the parcel Ewald is planning for Cedar Crest.

DeWolf added that the current dirt access to the property from Highway 15 will be demolished. The project has no sidewalks. Ewald said she is planning to have a walking path around Cedar Crest instead for its residents.

Until the improvement hearing, the two attorneys and Page will negotiate an agreement, “making sure there’s no huge stumbling block,” McGrath said.

Finally, the new road has no name yet. Page has suggested calling it James Hill Road, because he is interested in railroad history, McGrath said. He added that because the road runs east and west, it should be either an avenue or drive.

The city is sponsoring a contest for residents to submit a name for the new road. The winner will receive two tickets for the chicken dinner at Red Rooster Days.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved a request from Thirsty’s Tavern to have Wednesday Night Drive Ins for cars and bikes at the 200 block of Atlantic Avenue. This is the third year of the event.

• requested a proposal for a city assessor. The current city assessor, Judy Barka, asked for a fee increase to $8 per parcel for the 873 parcels from the 2007 rate of $7.90 per parcel.

• directed a letter be sent to all landlords and owners of rental properties that, starting with Jan. 1, 2009, they will be responsible for paying the water bills. If delinquent bills are not paid by Tuesday, July 1, water will be shut off for the entire property, not just for the tenants who haven’t paid.

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