By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie and McLeod County have started a process that could involve some horse trading related to ownership of roads and infrastructure improvements.
In a Dec. 2 memo, City Engineer Jake Saulsbury told the city council that McLeod County desires to turn back County Road 23 north of Central Avenue (first Avenue North and Pine Street).
Saulsbury explained that if the city were to agree to take on ownership and maintenance of the road, the council should ask the county for upgrades in consideration of this agreement.
He noted that First Avenue North was reconstructed in 1995, and is in good condition, so requests for improvements to other streets would be more beneficial to the city.
Saulsbury provided some potential street and infrastructure needs that the city has, along with cost estimates.
Three priority areas identified by Saulsbury include Second Avenue South, Pine Street, and Central Avenue.
The type of projects include storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main improvements.
The first priority area involved storm sewer improvements along Second Avenue South. Saulsbury said the existing storm sewer system includes two parts.
The first part starts at Fir Street, and carries water west to McLeod County Road 1, and discharges into a pond. This section is generally in good condition.
The second part carries water from Fir Street east to the Redwood Street right-of-way, where it heads south toward the Crow River.
This system is comprised of 12-inch concrete tile which is in poor condition, as well as being under-sized, which has resulted in frequent flooding between Hickory and Maple Street, according to Saulsbury.
He recommended reconstructing the system from Fir Street to the Redwood Street right-of-way.
The new system would be sized to eliminate the existing capacity issues.
Saulsbury provided two options based on possible location of treatment ponds.
The first option would connect the new system to the existing system north of the wastewater treatment facility. The estimated cost, based on an analysis done in June, is $329,000, which would be divided between the city and the county.
The second option provides for a future pond south of Juniper Street.
In addition to the Second Avenue South storm sewer improvements, piping along Maple Street and the south city limit line would need to be constructed.
The estimated cost is $390,000.
These cost estimates do not include pond construction, land acquisition, or easement costs.
Saulsbury said the sanitary sewer system under Second Avenue South from County Road 1 to Pine Street was inspected in April.
He recommended replacement of all block manholes and two segments of pipe that are in poor condition. This would allow for the installation of a cured-in-place liner within the existing pipe.
The estimated cost for this project is $85,000.
Other recommendations included installation of storm sewer pipe along Pine Street from Central Avenue to Second Avenue South at an estimated cost of $67,000.
Saulsbury also recommended replacing all block manholes between First Avenue North and Second Avenue South on Pine Street, and reconstructing two segments of sagging pipe at a cost of $74,000.
Saulsbury’s recommendations for improvements on Central Avenue include eliminating existing storm sewer pipe under private property from the system, and adding storm sewer from Oak Street to Pine Street and from Redwood Street to Pine Street along Central Avenue.
The estimated cost for this is $73,000, and it could only be completed in conjunction with the Pine Street and Second Avenue South storm sewer improvements.
Saulsbury recommended replacement of all manholes and one section of pipe in the Central Avenue sanitary sewer at a cost of $52,000.
Water main improvements that Saulsbury recommended include replacing four-inch water main between Elm Street and Juniper Street with eight-inch pipe to provide more volume and improve water quality.
The estimated cost to complete this is $85,000.
Saulsbury suggested the council should also consider looping the water main in some areas to improve water quality and fire flow.
Looping in the developments
Saulsbury also recommended water main looping for the East Park Estates and Prairie Ridge developments.
He said the developments are currently served by single 12-inch water mains.
He explained that looping provides a second water distribution source in the case of a break or other service interruption.
Looping also increases water circulation within the system, which improves water quality by distributing chlorine and reducing rusty or stale water that is often encountered in long dead end water lines.
Looping also improves fire flow within the looped area.
Saulsbury recommended that the city proceed with this project, timing it to coincide with the county’s reconstruction of County Road 23 which is scheduled for completion in 2010.
This would save the city approximately $20,000 by allowing it to use “open-cut” installation, which is only possible during the road construction project.
This would reduce the total cost of the looping project to an estimated $330,000.
Saulsbury will continue to work with McLeod County to discuss options for considerations the county is willing to make in exchange for turning back the road.