A proposed $4.5 million street improvement project for a portion of downtown Walker was discussed at the Nov. 4 council meeting.

The Northside Project, which is expected to start about June 1, includes underground utility, street and drainage improvements to portions of Cleveland Boulevard, Railroad Avenue, Front Street, Second to Seventh streets, Prospect Place and Ross Place, and the alley west of Fourth Street.

Kris Carlson of Ulteig told the council and taxpayers affected by the project that portions of the streets are in distress with potholes and cracking, while the storm sewer drainage is in poor shape. There are also multiple deficiencies in the sanitary sewer that include major pipe sags, cracked and failing pipe, and root intrusion and mineral build up. Most of the clay pipe is more than 50 years old.

Final plans and specifications for the project are expected to be completed in December, with advertising for bids in March. Bids are expected to be accepted in April.

The proposed project will be financed through a combination of a Public Facilities Authority grant, city and county funds, and special assessments to taxpayers. A $1.1 million water infrastructure funding grant has already been approved that will lower the assessed total to about $2.6 million.

Based on the estimated assessments with 100 feet of assessable frontage, benefiting property receiving all of the improvements will be assessed about $17,200, These assessment costs were originally set at about $30,000 when this project was first proposed back in 2018.

In other business, the council:

Recognized Police Chief Wayne Tennis, who is starting his 30th year working for the city’s force.

Approved payment of $3,250 to Andrew’s Plumbing and Heating for emergency liquor store furnace replacement.

Approved second half Kitchigami Regional Library levy of $7,355.50.

Approved payment of $7,470 to SEH for Airport Master Plan with layout plan.

Approved payment of $17,500 to SEH for the Airport access road and parking lot rehabilitation construction administration observation phase.

Approved payment of $95,342.42 to SEH for the airport access road and parking lot rehabilitation.

Approved donation of $1,000 to the Walker Area Community Center for outdoor lighting and $4,000 for the outdoor skating rink maintenance and operations for the skating season with the hockey program providing the remains funds.

Approved holiday hours for city offices and businesses,and Walker Bay Spirits for Christmas and New Year’s. City Hall will close at 1 p.m. Dec. 24, and city offices and businesses will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, while Walker Bay Spirits will close at 4 p.m. Dec. 24.

Approved Jay Carrols’ salary increase of $1 per hour as he has passed his Class D Water Certification.

Approved payment of $3,637.44 to Ziegler Cat Power Systems for repair of the water plant generator.

Approved payment of $2,750 to Briggs for professional services for the tax increment financing district 2-16 redevelopment.

Approved annual membership dues of $1,575 to the Cass County Economic Development Corporation.

Approved City Administrator Terri Bjorklund work with City Attorney John Valen and MnDOT to request a conveyance of access points on Highway 371, moving the current Onigum access point to the planned Tower Avenue connecting to 371. The city will make sure it retains access rights.

Approved payment of $95,342.41 to SEH for the access road and parking lot rehabilitation.

Passed a resolution for the deferred special assessment for the 2016 South Side and Fifth Street North utility and street improvement project, with an amendment that adds the assessment amount due.

Approved ordinance 2019-09 for rezoning reclassification from traditional residential to traditional commercial.

Passed a resolution authorizing summary publication of ordinance 2019-09 that changes the zoning classification from traditional residential to traditional commercial.

Passed a resolution calling for a public hearing on the proposed adoption of adding Tiny Homes Subdivision to the city code. The hearing will be held Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.

Passed a resolution to receive the feasibility report on improvement and calling hearing on improvement.

Heard that city hall and DMV will be closed Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving.

Heard that Walker Bay Spirits will be closed Nov. 28.

Reminder that the Truth-in-Taxation meeting and public comment period is Dec. 2 starting at 6 p.m.

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