BY GABE LICHT
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN Of four special projects the Franklin Township Board considered during a special meeting Tuesday, three were put on hold.
On a 2-1 vote, with John Czanstkowski opposed, the board awarded a bid of $79,708 to William Mueller & Sons to reclaim the existing pavement and add 3 inches of bituminous pavement for 4,322 square yards about four-tenths of a mile on the western end of 82nd Street. That comes out to $18.40 per square yard.
Southwest Paving, of Norwood Young America, had submitted a bid of $59,040 to reclaim and pave 2,733 square yards of the road, an average of $21.60 per square yard.
Supervisor Mike Barfknecht had taken a representative from each company to examine the road and said that Mueller preferred to pave an entire swath, while Southwest wanted to skip a portion that was not in as poor of condition.
“I let them do what they want,” Barfknecht said. “ . . . They came to different conclusions.”
Both Barfknecht and fellow Supervisor Bill McMullen agreed that paving the larger area would result in a better product.
“We’re still just putting a Band-Aid on it,” Barfknecht said.
“It’s more than a Band-Aid,” McMullen said. “ . . . I think this would address residents’ concerns of getting it back to a paved road. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it’s a cost-effective way of doing it.”
Czanstkowski spoke in favor of using OttaSeal rather than blacktop, and resident DeWayne Bauman agreed, saying it would save the township money.
McMullen said the township board did not know how much could be saved by using OttaSeal, and Barfknecht said the board did not yet know enough about it.
“I’ve driven it and it makes sense to take action,” McMullen said. “I don’t see us studying OttaSeal and waiting another year or two.”
Czanstkowski offered to get prices from companies in Maple Grove and St. Cloud that do OttaSeal before the Aug. 7 meeting, but Barfknecht and McMullen were not comfortable pursuing that option without more research.
“We shouldn’t have even had a special meeting if we were going to research OttaSeal more,” Barfknecht said.
McMullen said OttaSeal could be a better fit on 40th Street, which has been put on hold, along with Agate Avenue, while the township applies for State Park Road Account grant dollars.
Bauman spoke against paving 82nd Street before 40th Street.
“It doesn’t make any sense if you blacktop 82nd Street, with 78 cars a day, and not blacktop 40th Street, with 800 cars a day,” Bauman said.
“82nd is more complicated than 40th,” McMullen said. “I do think it makes sense to fix and repair 82nd Street, and continue to do research on OttaSeal. If that works and it stands up to traffic, I’d do it.”
Resident Milo Durben estimated that about half of the cars on 82nd Street were going to a business on that street and asked why that business would not be assessed for repairs.
“You can’t assess the people on that road to make it a paved road because you have to demonstrate you improved the value of their property by that amount,” McMullen said. “All the advice we’ve gotten is you’ll never get the increase in value to justify assessing.”
While 82nd Street was not included in the budget, McMullen said the township has funds available to address it.
“Our job is to fix the roads,” McMullen said. “Our job is not to have money in the checkbook and drag it out . . . I care about fixing the roads. Something has to be done. I’m tired of hearing about this. We always prolong it. We’re shifting gears again to go to OttaSeal. I believe in OttaSeal, but we don’t even know what kind of oil they use. I’d hate to have the oil break down. Unfortunately, it’s decision time.”
With that, McMullen made his motion, seconded by Barfknecht.
Work on the road will take place in September.
In addition to holding off on 40th Street and Agate, the board took no action on bids for road work in the Indian Hills development.