Improvements await busy Dakota StreetMotorists can expect some improvements on Dakota Street – a busy section of road off Highway 29 South that leads to Target, the industrial park and Highway 27 West. The Alexandria City Council is planning to reconstruct and widen the road using federal funding next spring.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Motorists can expect some improvements on Dakota Street – a busy section of road off Highway 29 South that leads to Target, the industrial park and Highway 27 West.
The Alexandria City Council is planning to reconstruct and widen the road using federal funding next spring.
A few hurdles have to be cleared, however, including obtaining more land and easements from property owners in the area.
At its meeting Monday night, the council received an update from City Attorney John Lervick about how the land negotiations are going. Lervick said that the city is trying to acquire temporary easements or additional rights-of-way on 17 parcels.
The city plans to hire a real estate agent to meet with the property owners to make an initial offer, Lervick said. If agreements can’t be reached, the city will initiate condemnation proceedings in January.
The city is under a time crunch to start the project this April in order to receive federal funding. The project is expected to cost about $2 million. Federal aid would cover 80 percent of the cost and the state would kick in the rest.
In the planning stages for about five years, the project would widen the road to 44 feet and includes curb, gutter and storm sewer. The road has taken a “heavy beating” over the years because of all the activity in that area, noted Mayor Dan Ness.
He said the area is expected to get even busier if Target follows through on its plans to build a Super Target behind its existing site and two more restaurants are built on nearby back lots.
In other action council:
•Approved the third annual “Big Ole Holiday Spectacular” vintage snowmobile race on Lake Agnes set for January 3.
Randy Neumann with Vintage One Lunger Series of Osakis sent the city a letter requesting the approval. He noted that this year’s event will include 16 classes of 1985 and older twin cylinder sleds, and 1973 and older single races.
Between 10 and 12 inches of ice are needed for the event, Neumann noted.
Organizers are in the process of getting permits and approval from the Department of Natural Resources, the Alexandria Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, according to Lee Christopherson, who filled in for Neumann to address the council.
Mayor Ness also asked the group to contact the Lake Agnes Lake Association. Vintage One will provide its own insurance. As in past years, the city of Alexandria will be listed as an additional insured party for the event.
More information about the race can be found on the Web site, www.volsracing.com.
•Issued a 2009 on-sale liquor license to Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill.
A public hearing was held prior to the council’s action and no one from the public spoke. At its last meeting, the council approved the same kind of license to seven other establishments in the city.
The cost of the license was $4,500.
•Approved a 2009 rental unit inspection contract with Alexandria Housing and Redevelopment Authority at a cost of $22.17 per unit.
It was the lowest quote the city received and is 65 cents more than this year’s rate.
•Approved a second and final reading of an ordinance that vacates a public alley in Holes Second Addition, north of 4th Avenue.
Alexandria Concrete has been using the land, which was platted as an alley but never built, to store materials. If Alexandria Concrete decides to move in the future – which it has indicated it will do – and sells off both parcels of land, the land would need to be replatted and the alley could be reconveyed at that time.
•Issued a $6,000 loan from its Revolving Loan Fund to Clara Olson and the Alexandria Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
It’s part of a $17,294 project to fix up two apartments above Olson’s Hair Profiles business at 115 5th Avenue West. The Small Cities Development Program will provide the other funding. The loan will be paid back over five years at a rate of 6 percent.
•Approved a salt/sand partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
The partnership extends an agreement the city, county and MnDOT made in 1998 to share a salt/sand storage building near the Industrial Park on Highway 27 West.
•Decided to waive its option to purchase additional liability insurance next year through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. It could have purchased an extra $1 million worth of coverage for an extra $24,000 cost, according to Taddei.
•Approved the following license renewals for 2009: excavating contractor – Alexandria Lakes Area Excavating; garbage hauler – Tom Kraemer Inc.; heating contractor – Anderson Excavating, Plumbing and Heating, E & H Enterprises of Alexandria Inc., Gustafson Mechanical Inc., (new) Sellers Heating and Air; massage therapist – Jennifer Guenther; sign hangers – Cook Sign Company.