Council addresses sidewalk, sewer/water main projects

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Several decisions the Monticello City Council had to make during their July 6 meeting dealt with either sidewalk installation or city services (sewer and water mains).

     Mark Kraus, owner of Monticello Monument Company, was present at the meeting to plead his case as to why he felt the city should cover the cost to repair sidewalk issues in front of his business. He believes that when the new storm sewer was repaired recently, it caused additional cracking to the length of the sidewalk.

     “There are half a dozen trip hazards in front of my building,” Kraus said. “As long as I’ve owned that business (five years), the concrete keeps moving in front.”

     Additionally, Kraus said the cracks are aesthetically unappealing.

     He said the issues aren’t new; they were there 15-plus years ago when the previous owner had the business. He estimates the concrete to be about 20 years old.

     Kraus said not having rerod/rebar under the sidewalk is also an issue.

     “Typically sidewalks are poured without rerod,” said Council member Dave Goedken. However, the city has been designing new sidewalks with rerod in the plans.

     “Rerod definitely extends the life of the concrete,” added Kraus.

     “But it won’t stop the concrete from moving,” said Council member Tom Yeoman.

     Kraus summarized that the issues are nothing new in front of his business, that the problem was created years ago. “And I look to the city to consider the cost of the concrete,” he said.

     The council chose to table the matter until City Administrator Doug Herman has time to visit with the city engineer and review the problem.

     The council finally took action regarding the installation of sewer services for three properties north of town that are still using a septic system. The decision came down to whether the city should install an 8-inch sewer main or have property owner Norm Zimmerman install a private 6-inch sewer service line extension, connecting three properties to the city’s main.

     In the end, the council voted to proceed with the 8-inch main. If the cost estimate is too high, the city would allow Zimmerman to privately install a 6-inch line.

     Herman previously sought a project estimate from the city engineer for around $70,000. Zimmerman said he could get the project done for less than $30,000. In addition, he’s willing to contribute $12,000 toward the project, and the other two property owners verbally agreed to $5,000 each.

     Goedken said he would enforce assessing the $5,000 to each owner if they chose not to take part in the project.

     “If they don’t jump on $5,000, they’re making a big mistake,” he said of how much an assessment could actually cost. “The taxpayers are paying the majority of the cost.”

     To accomplish the project, Systems Unlimited, who owns a home along the pathway for this project, is willing to give an easement either to Zimmerman or the city.

     “I think it’s a benefit to get this done for $25,000 with the engineering fees to have all three properties on city sewer,” voiced Council member Gary Feldmann.

     Herman said the city would need to reach out to the DNR to make sure the proposed plan would get approved, too.

     “I don’t think the DNR would have concerns as long as there was enough room to dig up and do the project and provide long-term maintenance,” explained Engineer AJ Barry with Snyder & Associates.

     The council approved allowing Keith and Carol Hagen to install a service line for city water and sewer in the right of way along E. First Street to serve a proposed single-family residence. The Hagens’ new home will be built to the west of the city’s sewer plant.

     “Construction is not prohibited because of the sewer plant,” noted Herman.

     The city agreed to the service line installation versus paying to extend city services.

     “I’d like to see a drawing so we know exactly where the lines will be going,” requested Yeoman.

In other city business:

     • Herman reported on behalf of Parks and Rec regarding the re-opening of the Aquatic Center.

     As of July 2, they sold 111 pool passes, covering 366 people (some were family passes). Of that number, 85 are Monticello residents, 20 live within the Monticello school district, and six are county residents.

     “They’re still selling passes,” noted Herman.

     Should the Monticello pool have to close due to positive COVID-19 cases, much like the Cascade pool, any passes purchased are non-refundable.

     “If we had a COVID case and had to shut down,” proposed Herman, “I’m sure we’ll hear about it.”


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