It soon will be safer for students to be dropped off and picked up at Lincoln Elementary School.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council issued a conditional use permit for School DIstrict 206 to expand the parking area in the north side of the school at 11th Avenue and Lark Street.

The project would remove the current tennis courts and playgrounds and put in access points from 11th Avenue.

Right now, the school is accessed by vehicles on the north end via an entrance from 11th Avenue, just west of the intersection, and on the east side via an entrance from Lake Street at the southeast corner of the existing parking area.

The project would remove those access points and there would be no vehicle access from or to Lark Street.

Instead, the new vehicle entrances and exits would be from 11th Avenue in three locations:

  • A one-way enter only on the west end of the parking lot.

  • A two-way enter/exit, near the middle of the site.

  • A one-way exit only on the east end of the site.

The school district plans to add 68 parking stalls, which will increase the parking from 49 stalls to 117. This will relieve congestion and allow for more visitors and staff parking. Three more handicap-accessible parking spaces will also be added.

The parking lot will also receive extensive landscaping, adding 33 trees.

The tennis courts that are being demolished are no longer being used.

Clearing up questions about new buildings

Wondering about some new building or development going up in your neighborhood?

The city will soon be putting in a reusable four-by-four-foot sign on a property that will indicate what the project is about and include a phone number to call that will provide recorded details and when a public hearing will take place.

The council approved the new “community notification process” on a 5-0 vote, authorizing the city street department to make the sign, which is estimated to cost $200 and last for a decade. The city will test the idea for about a month and determine whether to proceed with the idea.

Street repair bonds

After receiving “very good” interest rate bids, the council agreed to issue up to $2.375 million in street reconstruction bonds for its 2020 projects.

Robert Baird submitted the lowest of the seven bids, an interest rate of 1.13%.

The city maintained its AA bond rating with Standard and Poors, which means it has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest ranking only to a small degree.

Bellanca building to get boost

The Bellanca building at the Alexandria airport will soon receive a major facelift.

The city received a matching grant of $362,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to demolish the office area, clean-up and remove hazardous materials, repair the roof, and modernize the building’s cooling, heating, plumbing and lighting.

Half of the grant will come from the state and the rest from the city.

At Monday’s meeting, the council approved an agreement with ServPro of Douglas and Otter Tail counties to do the first phase of the work – interior demolition and waste removal – for $32,950.

The office area fell into disrepair since it was last inhabited about seven years ago, the city said in its grant application. Many offices and related areas have mold and the carpets have been soaked by water because of roof leaks.

The city plans to turn the office area into a storage-warehouse.

Hangar bids

The council authorized Airport Manager Kreg Anderson to call for bids to contract a new 10-unit T-hangar.

The city intends to receive a loan for 80% of the project costs from the state, which will be repaid over 20 years at a zero-percent interest rate.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation Aeronautics has $1.2 million available to provide the city with a loan to construct the hangar, according to Anderson.

The bid opening is scheduled for Aug. 18 and will be presented to the council at its Aug. 24 meeting.