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Small Business Relief Grant program, bridge replacement on city council agenda

The Austin City Council will vote on contributing $200,000 to the Mower County Small Business Relief Grant program during its next regular meeting.

The Mower County Board of Commissioners recently approved the Small Business Relief Grant program to provide the funding from the county’s allocation of federal CARES Act funds. City Administrator Craig Clark proposed the City participate to supplement eligible applications.

The City would work with the DCA on applications.

After speaking with DCA President and CEO John Garry, Clark said it was felt a $200,000 funding level was a reasonable amount for City participation. The City would utilize fund balance from the general fund for its portion of the grants.

Should the number of applicants exceed available funds, businesses will receive a ranking to the degree their business was impacted by COVID-19.

The council approved the motion to forward the vote during its work session on Aug. 17.

The council will also vote on a resolution setting the hearing date on fall assessments for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5. The assessments include snow removal, junk removal, weed removal and grass mowing, tree assessments, miscellaneous sidewalk and driveway projects, forfeited property reassessments, administrative citations, hazardous housing mitigation, unpaid sewer bills and other unpaid city assessments.

City Engineer Steven Lang will give the council an update on the 28th Street Northeast bridge replacement project during the council’s next work session.

In a memorandum to the mayor and council, Lang noted that the bridge replacement is scheduled to take place in summer 2021 and is projected to have a similar schedule to the 2017 replacement of the 11th Drive Northeast bridge, which lasted for five months from June to October 2017. The bridge will include the following features:

• Two 12-foot driving lanes;

• A 6-foot shoulder

• A 12-foot trail/sidewalk;

• Decorative safety railings on both sides; and

• Architectural concrete and arched facial panels.

A detour will be in place to Brownsdale and back on County Road 46 for northbound traffic to Nexus-Gerard Family Healing, the Austin Country Club and neighborhoods to the north and east.

Administrative Services Director Tom Dankert will continue the 2021 budget discussion with the council during the work session.

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, the Council’s next regular meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the City Council Chambers located in the basement of Austin City Hall. The work session will take place in the City Council Chamber immediately following the meeting.

Some members may participate by telephone or other electronic means.

Any citizen wishing to monitor the meeting from a remote location should do so by tuning in to Charter Channel 180. Anyone not able to do so, or anyone wishing to address the council, should contact City Clerk Ann Kasel at 437-9943 to make arrangements in advance. Any citizen wishing to monitor the work session from a remote location should also contact Kasel to make arrangements.

For a complete agenda, visit www.ci.austin.mn.us/city-council.