Franklin Township Board tackles road issues
BY GABE LICHT
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN Talk about township roads took up much of the June 6 Franklin Township Board meeting.
The first road-related order of business was to solicit seal-coating and striping bids for several roads.
Those roads include about .55 miles of Brighton Avenue Southeast south of Highway 12; Eastwood Avenue at the corner of Wright County Road 16 Southeast; about half a mile of Fairhill Avenue Southeast off 110th Street Southeast in Rice Lake Meadows; about .3 miles of 110th Street Southeast east off of Farmington Avenue Southeast; about .6 miles of 45th Street Southeast, 45th Court, and 44th Street Southeast off Farmington Avenue Southeast in the Bid Goods Addition; about .4 miles of 44th Street Southeast and Franham Avenue Southeast off Farmington Avenue Southeast in White Birch Acres Addition; and about .1 miles of Country Lane North off of Wright County Road 30 Southeast in Georges Woods Addition.
Outgoing Clerk/Treasurer Denise Olson said maintenance staff had identified those roads. The supervisors opted not to add Krienkeville roads to the list, as more work is likely needed there.
Supervisor Bill McMullen asked if the board could eliminate a road from the list after the bids came in, and Olson said they would have that option.
The board also discussed 40th and 82nd streets that were first chip sealed at least 12 to 15 years ago and chip sealed again at least six years ago.
Todd Bartels, of Pearson Brothers, Inc., presented an estimate of $29,000 to seal coat both roads. By comparison, his company would have charged $56,000 to chip seal Farmington Avenue, had the township opted for that route.
Bartels’ estimate was strictly for seal-coating, not for repairing potholes or areas that are breaking up.
“The more money you’ll spend on it, the better results you’ll have,” Bartels said. “If you want to dig it out and put as much Class 5 (fill) as it takes to get a solid base, especially through that low area on the west end, then put asphalt, and chip seal over it, you’ll have like everyone else does. That’s how they build roads. It’s expensive.”
Chair DeWayne Bauman said that the amount of traffic on 40th Street increased during construction at the intersection of Highways 12 and 25. Currently, an average of 687 vehicles travel 40th Street daily.
“Traffic has probably increased by 10 fold in the last 10 to 15 years,” Bauman said. “The better we make it, the more traffic it invites. If you double the traffic, will the chip seal hold up?”
Bartels said the materials should hold up, though they were intended for roads with an asphalt base, not a gravel base, as is the case with 40th and 82nd.
Before the July 5 meeting, the board will have an engineer evaluate the roads.
“I’ve talked to who live on 82nd, and it does seem to me the consensus of people who live there want to keep the road as a blacktopped road, rather than reverting back to granite or gravel,” McMullen said. “Any of this research we’re doing, at least in my mind, we’re doing it in the spirit of maintaining an above-average road for the residents.”
Residents in attendance agreed with McMullen, going so far as to say they would be willing to go through the 429 process and be assessed for the road.
“If you do that process, it only works if we’re improving the value of the property,” McMullen said. “I don’t know if that would increase the value.”
The board agreed to revisit both roads during the July 5 meeting. In the meantime, maintenance staff will use hot mix to fill potholes in both roads.
The board also expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the Farmington Avenue project.
Engineer Ron Bray examined the road twice and had said the road looked normal, and that it would need to be chip sealed within two years regardless.
McMullen said he would contact the contractor regarding the situation.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• discussed the possibility of partnering with Wright County, the city of Rockford, and Rockford Township on a joint park in Rockford, adjacent to Franklin Township. Supervisors said they were not interested in that option at this time. Czanstkowski said he would talk to property owner Clyde Rumsa about the possibility of the township purchasing some of his land near the halfway bridge on Eastwood Avenuefor a future park.
• discussed the township’s moratorium on solar projects. Any ordinance the township may draft regarding solar projects is on hold until Wright County ends its moratorium and amends its ordinance. Bauman serves on the county’s solar farm task force and reported he was told that investors do not want their solar projects in abandoned gravel pits, though he said he wasn’t given a good explanation as to why.
• approved a fire protection agreement with the Montrose Fire Department. Olson noted the contract has not changed in the 10 years she was with the township.
• amended the mailbox policy so that if the township asks a property owner to move a mailbox and it is not moved, that resident is not eligible for the $40 replacement price the township pays if a snowplow blade damages a mailbox.
• offered support for the expansion of the MBE mining area along Wright County Road 16 in southern Franklin Township, which will need to be approved by the Wright County Planning Commission and Wright County Board.
• offered support for Wright County to grant Dave Schaust a variance so he can add a three-season porch to his home located on Brighton Avenue.
Olson resigns as Franklin Township clerk/treasurer
BY GABE LICHT
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN After 10 years of working for Franklin Township, Clerk/Treasurer Denise Olson resigned effective June 6.
After Chair DeWayne Bauman made a motion to accept the resignation, Supervisor Bill McMullen said, “I will second that, reluctantly, and thank her for her service.”
“I’m a no,” Supervisor John Czanstkowski said, eliciting laughter.
Olson said she was resigning because she is moving to Brooklyn Park.
The board appointed Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Stephanie Russek to Olson’s position.
Russek then appointed Franklin Township resident Renee Olson to the deputy position, and the board approved that appointment.