Timeline set for Wyoming street improvements

Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

The Wyoming City Council on April 2 accepted the street feasibility study and approved moving ahead with the 2013 street and utility improvement project.

The pavement improvement project totals 5.46 miles of city streets. Some sections of sanitary sewer and several hydrants will be replaced. Some utility and drainage improvements will also be completed.

Streets proposed for reconstruction: 261st, 263rd, 264th and 266th to 270th streets; Felton, Fenwick, Finley, Flintwood, Forli, Foxboro, Freeport and Friesland avenues; Flintwood Lane; Freeport and Flint courts; Galen and Glen Oak drives; Flint Trail; Railroad Boulevard; and Flintwood Circle.

The project cost, estimated at $3,990,900, includes a 10 percent contingency and 20 percent for indirect costs. The city will pay $1,432,400 from utility funds for sanitary sewer, lift station, drainage, and water system improvements. Proposed street improvements total $2,558,500, paid out of the city’s general fund.

Project bidding opens May 7, with contracts to be awarded June 12. Construction should begin June 18. Engineer Mark Erichson anticipates that most of the project should be completed by October, with final completion next June.

Councilmember Linda Yeager was opposed to this plan, believing the city should have a pay-as-you-go approach to street projects. She was also concerned about the possibility of a reverse referendum. Council members approved the action 4-1, with Yeager opposed.

Other Business

Council members authorized staff to advertise and fill two vacancies in the public works department. Windingstad identified these as Street Lead  and Maintenance I. The positions are open with the resignation of one employee and retirement of Jim Rosengren, effective April 30, after 24 years.

Windingstad explained that the Street Lead position will work with him in coordinating, planning, scheduling and assigning daily work schedules with the maintenance department personnel. The person who fills the position will also be cross-trained in Sewer and Water Department.

The Maintenance I position needs skills to perform duties in streets, sewer and water departments, and general maintenance.

There are construction projects scheduled in the summer that involve the streets and sewer/water departments, and Windingstad wants departments to be at full staff. He hopes to have both positions filled by the end of May.

One final action was to support proposed legislation that would authorize establishment of municipal street improvement districts. According to the League of Minnesota Cities, the legislation would allow cities to create districts to fund street improvements and upgrades.

Currently, cities either bond for street repairs or assess property owners for the work. This action would provide cities with another tool to build and maintain streets.

Councilman Roger Elmore spoke in support of the proposed legislation, which could be used in combination with assessments or bonding. Yeager was opposed because the bill was not finalized. The resolution passed 4-1.