City ups request for state bonding money for Wastewater Treatment plant

Published 6:43 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

The City of Austin, working with area legislatures, has upped its request for bonding bill dollars for its Wastewater Treatment Plant.

City Administrator Craig Clark reported during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting that the city was working with Sen. Gene Dornink and Rep. Patricia Mueller in asking for $20 million in bonding dollars for the plant, which is currently at an estimated $80 million in order to bring the plant up to current state standards.

The request is increased from an initial bonding money request of $14.5 million in the face of inflationary pressures that other cities in Minnesota are facing with similar projects. One of those examples is in Mankato where an originally estimated $40 million project rose to $60 million, Clark said later in the week.

“Given that pressure, we already had some eyes toward inflationary costs …,” Clark said. “We feel like we’re being fair with what our asks are.”

Clark is referring to the process that required the updates to the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the first place. While there are no doubts as to aging infrastructure, measures enacted by the state forced Austin’s and other cities’ hands.

Clark said that cities pointed out when regulatory requirements were raised, the state didn’t really know how much it would cost cities. Austin, along with several cities, commissioned a study that reflected an increase in financial burden as a result.

“We asked the state to be a financial partner in the cost of living with regulations the state enacted,” Clark said.

The Austin City Council Tuesday night okayed six street reconstruction projects for this summer after public hearings.

Assistant City Engineer Mitch Wenum went through each plan that was unanimously approved by the council.

The next step are public hearings for street improvement project assessments on March 21.

Below is an overview of the projects.

2022 Street Reconstruction Projects

21st Avenue NE from 11tth Street NE to 14th Street NE

Expected to begin in early July, completed in October, depending on the weather.

Estimated cost: $1.4 million ($1.3 million street improvements, $100,000 storm sewer improvements)

Assessment Rates: $80.22 a linear foot; curb and gutter, $19.50.

Work Detail

• Remove existing concrete pavement.

• Remove center median.

• Construct 40-foot wide concrete road with curb and gutter.

• Realign intersection with 11th Street NE to improve visibility and turning movement.

• Construct 10-foot wide bike trail on the north side of 21st Avenue.

• Reconstruct RR crossing on 11th Street NE and add pedestrian crossing (may need to be delayed to 2023).

• Restore grass boulevards.

• Replace storm sewer manholes and catch basins.

• Install tile sub-drain and sump pump service lines.

• Water main and service replacement.

• Underground electrical crossings.

Ninth Street NW from 10th Avenue NW to 12th Avenue NW

10th Street NW from Eighth Avenue NW to 13th Avenue NW

Begin construction on both in early May. Ninth Street NW set to be completed in July, 10th Street early September.

Estimated cost: $930,000 ($805,000 street improvements, $75,000 sanitary sewer improvements, $50,000 storm sewer improvements).

Assessment Rates: $56.18 a linear foot residential, $6.75 square foot four-inch thick sidewalk, $9.25 six-inch thick sidewalk (through driveways).

Work detail

• Surface improvements.

• Widen Ninth Street and 10th Street NW to 34 feet wide.

• Install new curb and gutter and asphalt pavement.

• Remove and replace deficient sidewalk panels.

• Install ADA compliant pedestrian ramps.

• Restore grass boulevards.

• Replace storm sewer mains, manholes and catch basins.

• Sanitary sewer manhole replacement.

• Install tile sub-drain and sump pump service lines.

• Water main and service replacement on Ninth Street and 10th Street NW.

• Underground electrical crossings.

Third Avenue NE from Oakland Place NE to 19th Street NE

Project will be separated into two phases: Phase 1: Oakland Place NE to 1819 Third Avenue NE, starts early May. Phase 2: 1819 Third Avenue NW to 19th Street NE, starts early July.

Both phases to be completed in early October.

Estimated cost: $1,010,000 ($700,000 street improvements, $160,000 sanitary sewer improvements, $150,000 storm sewer improvements).

Assessment Rates: $56.18 a linear foot residential, $6.75 square foot four-inch thick sidewalk, $9.25 SF six-inch thick sidewalk (through driveways).

Work detail

• Remove existing curb and gutter and asphalt pavement.

• Install new curb and gutter and asphalt pavement.

• Remove and replace deficient sidewalk panels.

• Install ADA compliant pedestrian ramps.

• Restore grass boulevards.

• Replace storm sewer mains, manholes and catch basins.

• Sanitary sewer replacement from 16th Street to 17th Street NE.

• Install tile sub-drain and sump pump service lines.

• Water main and service replacement.

• Underground electrical crossings.

Third Street NE from 16th Avenue NE to 18th Avenue NE

Construction is expected to start in early May, completed in late June.

Estimated cost: $500,000 ($475,000 street improvements, $25,000)

Assessment Rates: $56.18 a linear foot residential, $6.75 square foot four-inch thick sidewalk, $9.25 SF six-inch thick sidewalk (through driveways).

Work detail

• Remove existing curb and gutter and asphalt pavement.

• Install new curb and gutter and asphalt pavement.

• Remove and replace deficient sidewalk panels.

• Install ADA compliant pedestrian ramps.

• Restore grass boulevards.

• Install tile sub-drain and sump pump service lines.

• No planned work.

16th Street SW from 16th Avenue SW to 19th Avenue SW; Fifth Avenue SW from 27th Street SW to dead end

Construction expected to start mid-June, completed over a 2-3 week period

Estimated cost: $125,000.

Assessment rates: $6.35 per inch residential mill and overlay

Work detail

16th Street SW

• Mill off 1.5 inches of the existing asphalt pavement.

• Pave 1.5 inches of new asphalt pavement.

5th Avenue SW

• Mill off 1.5 inches of the existing asphalt pavement from 27th Street SW to 2906/2907 Fifth Avenue.

• Mill off four inches of the existing asphalt pavement from 2906/2907 Fifth Avenue to the dead end.

• Replace the concrete valley gutter across the 27th Street and Fifth Avenue SW intersection.

• Pave 2.5 inches of new asphalt pavement on the west end.

• Pave 1.5 inches of new asphalt pavement along the entire length of Fifth Avenue SW.

Seventh Avenue SW from 23rd Street SW to 24th Street SW; 11th Avenue SW from 10th Avenue SW to 18th Street SW; 23rd Street SW from Eighth Avenue SW North to dead end

Construction is expected to take place late June and expected to be completed over a 2-3 week period.

Estimated project cost: $250,000

Assessment rates: $6.35 per inch residential mill and overlay

Work detail

• Reclaim the full depth of the existing asphalt pavement and subbase.

• Grade and compact the reclaimed material.

• Reopen the street to local traffic.

• Pave four inches of new asphalt pavement on top of the reclaimed material.

• No underground utility work planned.

Project updates can be found at www.ci.austin.mn.us/public-works/city-construction-projects and www.facebook.com/cityofaustinmn.

Flyers will also be handed out door-to-door.