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Council revises scope of Lakeland Drive project

WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council has revised the scope and reduced the estimated cost of the proposed Lakeland Drive sanitary sewer, lift station and street project after council members decided some of the initially proposed, more expensive work is not needed right now.

The council last week approved a Public Works/Safety Committee recommendation to replace the deteriorating lift station located at the MinnWest Technology Campus. The lift station serves Country Club Drive and Eagle Lake.

The project includes replacing the deteriorating forcemain, which brings sewage from the lift station to a point where sewage can flow by gravity to the south.

The project also includes new bike path; mill and overlay; and design for signals and railroad crossing quiet zone improvements.

The cost of the proposed work was estimated by consultants Bollig Inc. of Willmar and AE2S of Grand Forks, N.D., at $4.8 million. The proposal was the least costly of four options related to the scope of the project.

The most expensive was estimated at $10.2 million, but included sewer replacement and road reconstruction that the committee determined was not necessary after the city televised 57 percent of the Lakeland sewer line, built in the 1950s, and found the line was in reasonably good condition.

The televising found several obstructions that needed removal and areas needing repair. If that work is successful, the entire sewer line will not need replacing, and an overlay of Lakeland Drive can be considered, thereby deferring the complete roadway reconstruction.

The recommended work was reported by committee Chair Ron Christianson.

In other business Monday night, Community Development Committee Chair Rick Fagerlie reported the committee reviewed the race track activities agreement between the city and the Kandiyohi County Fair Board.

The council on several occasions has dealt with noise issues coming from the fairground race track. An agreement governing race track use was reached a number of years ago between the Kandi Racing Association and the Fair Board.

The agreement was approved by the council on March 21, 2005, at the request of the Fair Board. The agreement established racing season starting and ending dates, racing starting and ending times, and a fine schedule for violations.

The committee’s review of past council action was requested by council member Bruce DeBlieck, one of two council members who represent the north side where the fairground is located.

In his report, Fagerlie said the most recent complaints about noise were the result of a concert held at the fairground in late August.

Prior to the next racing season, Kandiyohi County Fair Board representatives will be invited to a committee to discuss the noise issue once again, Fagerlie reported.

In other business, Fagerlie reported the committee received an idea from Mary Lou Arne to create neighborhood improvement groups to oversee local exterior property conditions.

Her primary concern was the downtown area and the city core, but the concept could be implemented city-wide. She expressed concern that deteriorating conditions were contagious and stemmed from a lack of education and respect for property.

She suggested that neighborhood groups could select leaders who could distribute pamphlets outlining issues and expectations for property maintenance. The contacts would encourage communication among neighbors and would direct property owners to maintain their properties and reduce the enforcement burden on city staff.

The committee thought that the idea had merit, Fagerlie reported. Arne asked the committee to take the lead in creating a structure within which such neighborhood groups could operate.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150