By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN At a special workshop meeting June 30, the Delano City Council approved a resolution to apply for a $770,000 bond to fund Phase 2 of the Highway 12/Bridge Avenue project, which is set to begin Tuesday, July 7.
The bond will cover the road, sidewalk, and lighting costs, as well as the $40,000 to $50,000 bonding cost, Finance Director Brian Bloch said.
At the council meeting Tuesday, July 21, city officials will decide on either a 10-year or 20-year bond.
With the 10-year bond, the city would pay $100,000 per year, while the 20-year bond would be $60,000 per year.
“It’s less interest, but it’s $40,000 more per year on the local levy,” City Administrator Phil Kern said.
For the entire term, the 20-year bond would result in a $250,000 higher total interest payment, Bloch said.
The tax increase, however, would be at 3 percent, instead of 5 percent, with the 20-year bond.
The bond will not cover landscaping costs, but the City of Delano plans to use its general capital project fund to cover the estimated $330,000 cost.
The exact amount has not yet been decided, Bloch said, and a public hearing will take place mid-July to gather community input. The areas to be landscaped will remain city property for now, the council decided.
“It’s the main focal point on Highway 12 as you come into town,” Kern said.
“I think that whole chunk is going to be valuable,” Council Member Betsy Stolfa added.
The second and final phase of the Highway 12 project is set to be completed September 30. In the meantime, it will mean more detours for people driving through Delano.
“It will be similar to what we had for the railroad project,” Delano City Engineer Vince Vander Top said.
During reconstruction, Kern said they plan to keep Bridge Avenue open to local traffic and emergency vehicles, but not to traffic that is passing through.
“How do you differentiate between us and a commuter coming from the west? You don’t,” Vander Top said.
“It’s going to take time to train traffic on the detour route,” Kern said. During the last project, Kern said about 5,000 to 6,000 people per day snuck through the roadway that was under construction. Kern said his fear is that people will try to use Buffalo Street.
“Buffalo is not wide enough,” he said. “We can’t have that happen.”
For more information about the Highway 12 reconstruction project in Delano, go to the Delano city web site at www.delano.mn.us and click on “Highway 12 Reconstruction” under the “Projects” tab.
The detour on Highway 12 at Delano that was in effect this spring to replace a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad overpass will resume as road construction gets underway Tuesday, July 7.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said crews will reconstruct the final half-mile segment of Highway 12 from south of the railroad overpass to 72nd Street at the west end of Delano.
The road will be closed to through traffic. Motorists will be detoured seven miles via Wright County Highway 30 and Highway 25 back to Highway 12 in Montrose.
During construction crews will:
• Pave a new black top road surface with an added center turn lane.
• Replace a traffic signal system at Bridge Avenue.
• Install city side street connections, sidewalks, curbs/gutters, sewers and street lights.
• Landscape and establish turf along the roadway.
Duininck Construction of Prinsburg is the prime contractor for the $2.3 million road improvement project slated to be complete in mid-October, according to MnDOT.
In 2008 the first segment in Delano was reconstructed for $16.4 million from Franklin Avenue to Wright County Highway 139 (County Line Road), which included a new South Fork Crow River bridge.