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Council continues parking lot discussion

City to improve drainage system as budget allows

August 23, 2013
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

Neighbors of a new Avera Holy Family parking lot still have concerns about the potential problems of additional water runoff during heavy rains.

And while Estherville city officials have plans to alleviate some of that potential in the future, that hasn't alleviated all of the concern.

At its regular meeting Monday, the city council was updated on potential options for low-impact development of the storm sewer area around Eighth Avenue North and North Eighth Street.

Since Aug. 5 council meeting, Avera Holy Family conducted further study of the option of adding rain water gardens to its parking lot designs.

In conducting the research with an engineer and city administrator Penny Clayton, Avera officials stated in a letter to council that Holy Family believes that losing a large area of the new parking lots is not a good cost versus gain solution.

Avera Holy Family CEO Mike Hall addressed the council and said the loss of 13 parking spots and the maintenance of the rain garden would add $30,000 to a budget that's already exceeded estimates for the parking lot.

One resident asked if some of the plans to help the storm sewer system in the area couldn't be taken of before the parking lot is in.

Hall told the council the parking lot is scheduled to be completed by this fall.

Estherville administrator Penny Clayton said that she didn't believe the city could do anything legally to hold up the project since the Estherville Board of Adjustment had already approved the variance for the hospital parking lot.

However, the city had plans to improve storm sewer intakes and also install lateral drainage lines as soon as possible in the spring.

In other business Monday, council awarded the low bid for the 2013 street resurfacing project to Tri-State Paving Company of Estherville. Tri-State Paving submitted the lone bid of $514,822.80. The engineer's estimate for the project was $474,723.25. Council also approved an optional bid, which reduces the cost by $2,825.35.

Council tabled approving a bid for 2013 storm were improvements on North First Street in Estherville.

Clayton reported to council that a defective pipe is in the area. She said it will be more cost effective to put in a new line increasing the size from 30 inches to 48 inches.

Of the four bids submitted for the project, Vaughn DeLoss Construction had the low bid of $171,140, which was above the engineer's estimate of $109,060.

Clayton said the reason for the high bids was because the area in question is difficult to work in. She suggested council defer awarding the bid while Clayton and the city's engineer review some cost-saving alternatives.

Also Monday, council had four addresses that they were going to consider requesting to authorize to the city attorney for eliminating those violations.

Owners of the properties at 9 Central Avenue and 820 N. 11th St. both received an extension to bring their properties into compliance.

Properties at 103 Second Ave. N. and 1013 Third Ave. S. were turned over to the city attorney.

Council also reviewed a proposed bicycle regulation change that would allow bicyclers to ride on the sidewalk up to future bicycle racks within Estherville Library's Square. Currently no bikes are allowed on sidewalks on the downtown area. Council will consider the ordinance change at a later meeting.



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