Council discusses Seventh Street project driveway

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

After the City of Monticello sought bids for the N. Sycamore Street Reconstruction Project, bids came in less than the city bonded for. With some of the remaining funds, the city council chose to extend the project to cover a portion of Seventh Street to allow for a better water main extension. 

Outside of the scope of the N. Sycamore Street Project, an additional driveway and approach on Seventh Street, on the Kevin Kurth property, was removed. This allowed for the installation of the looped water main. 

The question proposed to the council at their Oct. 21 meeting was whether or not the driveway and approach should be reinstalled as gravel, seal coat, or concrete. While this decision needed to be made, the council also needed to keep in mind that the approach could likely get torn out next spring when the balance of the Seventh Street project commences (between Cedar and Maple streets). 

Kurth told City Administrator Doug Herman and a couple of council members that he would be agreeable to seal cost versus concrete, but did not want it to remain gravel over the winter. He would also like to see his Seventh Street project assessment reduced next year if the project moved forward. Herman said the seat coat would save the hassle of tearing out brand new concrete in the spring. 

Council member Dave Goedken said the council made the decision to extend the water main in anticipation of the Seventh Street project, and should take care of replacing Kurth’s driveway with concrete. 

Herman mentioned Kurth would also like to add rebar underneath his driveway to handle heavy equipment. Goedken said the rebar should not be at the city’s expense. 

“Why would one person get favored treatment for a driveway?” questioned Council member Brenda Hanken, referring to the lack of favors for N. Sycamore Street residents when the street remained gravel during fair week, kicking up dust. 

“We tore out an existing driveway that we did not assess for,” answered Goedken. 

“It should be concrete because that’s how we tore it out,” added Council member Candy Langerman, agreeing with Goedken. 

Dave Schoon questioned why the city extended the project without signed agreements from Seventh Street residents. Herman said seven of the 14 property owners were already going to be assessed. 

The council directed City Engineer Patrick Schwickerath to have Horsfield replace Kurth’s driveway with concrete. 

In other city business: 

• The council approved the formation of an exploratory committee to discuss a city build code and enforcement plan. The committee would include two members of Planning & Zoning, Herman, and two contractors. 

Resident Wayne Peach questioned the creation of a restrictive building code that would prohibit homeowners from handling their own projects. Goedken said the code is needed, but at the same time, didn’t want to impede on do-it-yourselfers. 

“The majority of contractors would want a code,” said Herman. “They see things happening by some contractors in town, not following the rules, and it makes them nervous.” 

• The council approved a plat of survey for three parcels located on John Drive (2019-72, 2019-73, and 2019-74). Doug and Leann Herman own 2019-73. They are selling 2019-74, which could likely see a building on it in the future. 

2019-72, also owned by the Hermans, was never dedicated to the city, as it should have been as part of the John Drive street dedication. 

The council also approved the dedication of 2019- 72 as city right of way. This action includes 35 feet for additional right of way, totaling 65 versus 60 feet of right of way. The additional 5 feet was approved to include the city utilities, which were found to be located on private property. 

The approval not only applies to the three parcels, but to Highland property as well. 


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