Archived Story

Council to discuss street projects

Published 4:59pm Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Austin City Council is starting the new year with a big agenda.

The council will receive feasibility reports and set hearings for street improvement projects to be done this year during its public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday inside City Council Chambers.

Council members will receive reports for the following projects:

—14th Street Northeast (Interstate 90 to Todd Park Trail)

—Eighth Street Northwest (Oakland Avenue to Fourth Avenue) and Eighth Street Southwest (Oakland Avenue to First Avenue)

—18th Street Northwest (Oakland Avenue to Fourth Avenue) and Third Avenue Northwest (18th Street to 19th Street)

—Second Avenue Northwest (19th Street to 22nd Street)

—10th Street Northwest (Oakland Avenue to Eighth Avenue) and Third Avenue Northwest (Eighth Street to 11th Street)

—20th Street Southeast (Oakland Avenue to Fourth Avenue)

—22nd Street Southeast (Oakland Avenue to First Avenue)

—21st and 22nd Street Southwest (Ninth Avenue to 16th Avenue) and 10th Avenue Southwest (Ninth Place to 22nd Street)

The council will also discuss increasing current assessment rates for street reconstruction projects by 4.4 percent during its work session after the meeting. In 2012, about 34.1 percent of street project costs were assessed to adjacent property owners, and the city hopes to eventually assess about half the cost of street projects to property owners in the future, according to a memo sent by Assistant City Engineer Steven Lang. The 4.4 percent raise in assessment rates is not expected to get the city to its 50 percent goal.

In addition, the council will hear a presentation from KSMQ on the 2012 Downtown Power Plant Art Festival.

Council members will discuss several Vision 2020-related projects as well. Vision 2020 organizers are asking for $5,000 from the city to help fund a $53,900 community recreation center feasibility study. The Community Recreation Center Committee wants to see how feasible building a new recreation center in Austin is, and wishes to hire research firm Anderson, Niebuhr & Associates to do the study, which would take about four to five months. The committee plans to raise at least $20 million for the project and wants to ensure a new center would be feasible.

In addition, Vision 2020’s Gateway to Austin committee wants the city to apply for a Minnesota Department of Transportation program to do landscaping work along the Interstate 90 corridor between Oakland Avenue West to Highway 218. The city would be required to give in-kind funding or services to install and maintain whatever materials the state pays for. In addition, MnDOT must approve the design plan and eligible projects are reimbursed by the state for up to $30,000 a year for purchasing landscaping materials.

The council will also discuss increasing current assessment rates for street reconstruction projects by 4.4 percent. In 2012, about 34.1 percent of street project costs were assessed to adjacent property owners, and the city hopes to eventually assess about half the cost of street projects to property owners in the future, according to a memo sent by Assistant City Engineer Steven Lang. The 4.4 percent raise in assessment rates is not expected to get the city to its 50 percent goal.

Council appointments, wastewater treatment plant and Austin Public Library staffing and an upcoming electronics recycling event will also be discussed.


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