Rain gardens, more parking added to city street project

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Additional parking near the park and pool, and rain gardens will be included in Section 2 of street and utility improvements scheduled for Gaylord later this year.

Earlier this month, council members accepted a recommendation by the Park Board to install 90-degree parking stalls on the east side of Fourth Street/Linden Avenue (near the new playground equipment). The plan would create approximately 20 parking stalls. A sidewalk on the east side of Fourth Street/Linden Avenue is also planned.

Additional surfacing for parking purposes is also planned near the pool. This plan would add 22 parking stalls on the north side of the pool and approximately six stalls on the west side.

Safety issues appeared to be the primary reason council members opted to add parking near the playground and the pool. These additions are expected to hike the cost of the street/utility improvement project by $10,000.

Three rain gardens, all located in the park area, were also added to the project. According to a report by Chris Cavett of Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. (SEH), a rain garden is a depressed bed area that is landscaped with plantings. It is designed to filter and treat water before it runs into Lake Titloe.

Cavett believes the cost of constructing rain gardens would be similar to installing piping. Rain gardens are designed to handle the first half-inch to one-inch runoff or “first flush.” According to SEH, 75% of rainfall events are in this category.

Sites for the three rain gardens are: northeast intersection of Park and Linden Avenue; southeast intersection of Veterans Lane and Park Avenue; area directly east of swimming pool.

Council members, last week, approved final plans and specifications for Section 2 of Gaylord’s Street and Utility Improvement project.

SEH is referring to Section 2 as the “ball park” portion of the project. It will include improvements near the City park on the following streets: Park Drive, Veterans Drive, Fourth Street (north of Park Avenue), Fifth Street (north of Lincoln Avenue) and Linden Avenue. This portion of the project is estimated to cost $1.4 million.

The City is scheduled to open bids for Section 2 on April 22nd. Construction is scheduled to start in August.

Justin Black of SEH updated council members Wednesday on Section 1 of Gaylord’s Street and Utility Improvement project. According to Black, bids for Section 1 will be presented to the City Council on Wednesday, April 4th. Construction is scheduled to begin in late April or early May, Black explained.

Section 1 includes street/utility improvements on First and Second street, Columbia Avenue, Franklin Avenue, Jefferson Avenue and High Avenue (east of Third Street). According to Black, affected property owners will receive a letter updating them on the project and letting them know when the contractor plans to begin work.

The City of Gaylord’s 2007-2008 Street & Utility Improvement Projects

• Total estimated cost of the 2007-2008 street and utility improvement project is $4.7 million.

• Total estimated cost for storm sewer improvements is $800,000.

• Projects would consist of installing approximately 8,500 feet (1.6 miles) of storm sewer piping.

• Existing storm sewer systems discharge untreated stormwater runoff direction into Lake Titloe. Proposed storm sewer improvements would include eliminating two storm sewer pipes discharging into Lake Titloe and redirecting approximately 35 acres of runoff into the stormwater treatment pond.

• Other areas of the project would include rain gardens which would treat stormwater runoff prior to being discharged into Lake Titloe.

• Projects also consist of narrowing streets, increasing the amount of green space and helping reduce stormwater runoff.

In other action:

• City Attorney Doug Nesvig told council members that he is hoping to finalize the sale of Lakeview Homes this week. Earlier this year, the City Council agreed to sell Lakeview Homes (nursing home, Oak Terrace, Heritage House) to developers Mick Montag and Dennis Hood of Mankato.

• Mayor Doug Quast, at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, reported that there is “nothing new” on the proposal to construct a new ambulance/police facility. The City has committed to construct a new facility in 2008. Earlier this month, Mark Brandt of the Ambulance Service asked for the council’s blessing to continue planning for the construction of a new facility this summer. Council members didn’t appear in favor of this request. According to City Administrator Lonny Johnson, funds were not included in the 2007 budget for a new ambulance/police facility.

• Mayor Quast also reported there is “nothing new” on the Library/City Hall swap. Council members are still in the process of determining whether or not the library building will be a temporary or permanent home for City Administration offices. There are still a lot of decisions to be made and more facts are needed before we make those decisions, Quast explained.

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