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City looks to future development of Carmichael corridor

Correction: The print edition of the Nov. 14 Hudson Star-Observer incorrectly reported the total cost of the sanitary and storm sewer needs assessments discussed here.

The city of Hudson will spend up to $29,100 to find out what sanitary sewer and storm sewer improvements will be needed to serve the Carmichael Road corridor north of I-94 in the future.

The Hudson City Council approved the spending in two parts at its Nov. 4 meeting.

It authorized the city’s consulting engineering firm, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, to bill up to $10,500 for a study of sanitary sewer needs, and $18,600 for the storm sewer study.

The money will come from the city’s sanitary sewer and storm water accounts, which are funded through customer billings.

Council members hope the actual price for the work will be less, because some of the research (such as land use) is needed for each study, and can be done just once.

City Finance Officer Neil Soltis and Community Development Director Dennis Darnold recommended the studies. They said the needs assessment for the Carmichael corridor should be updated because the last study was completed in 1995.

Some of the work previously identified isn’t in the city boundaries, according to a City Council issue sheet, which also noted that impact fees paid by developers must be spent within 10 years of being collected.

The issue sheet said the new needs assessment would serve as the basis for a revised impact fee schedule, and that the fees would apply only to the district that would benefit from the improvements.

Civil engineer Karen Erickson of Foth said she was concerned about an earlier computer model of a 100-year storm that showed a storm water pond in the area overflowing by 9 feet.

The bound report on the sanitary and storm water sewer assessments will include projections on future housing and commercial development in the district. It will also provide cost estimates on the needed sewer improvements.

Bids rejected

The council rejected three contractor bids on the repair of a storm sewer beneath Buckeye Street and Lakefront Park.

Two of the bids came in significantly higher than Foth’s $245,000 cost estimate for construction, and the third omitted a portion of the project.

Erickson recommended re-bidding the project for next construction season. She said it is a relatively small project for the companies that do that kind of specialized work, and it was advertised too late in this year to attract competitive bids.

Erickson suggested, and the council agreed to, giving contractors all of next season to complete the project. She said that would give them time to fit the project into their schedules, and bring down the price.

But Erickson admitted that she had underestimated the complexity of the project.

“I don’t think we are going to get down to the $245,000 (estimate),” she said.

The two highest bids the council rejected were $392,750 and $389,679. The third bid of $304,791 didn’t take into account an addendum to the project.

Alderperson Randy Morrissette II was concerned about the project being delayed until late into next year unless the city required a tighter timeframe for its completion.

The work will involve repairing spalled and missing concrete on the bottom of a 4- by 4-foot box culvert that runs beneath Buckeye Street. A polymer concrete will be used to patch the holes, and the bottom of the culvert will be covered with three to four inches of steel-reinforced polymer concrete.

A cured-in-place liner will be installed in a 54-inch concrete pipe that runs under Lakefront Park and drains into the St. Croix River.

The box culvert was built in 1937 and the round culvert was probably installed in the 1950s or later, Erickson reported to the City Council earlier this year.

EMS chief gets raise

The City Council went along with the St. Croix EMS Commission’s recommendation to give EMS Chief Kim Eby a 5-percent raise.

Alderperson Lori Bernard, the council’s representative on the commission, said Eby was promised a review of her salary after a year on the job.

“There have been just major improvements in the department,” Bernard said, reporting that it was in a better financial position and operating more efficiently. Staff morale is good, she added.

The one-time increase boosted Eby’s annual salary to $59,388.

City Administrator Devin Willi reported that she would get an additional 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment at the start of 2014. All city employees are expected to get the 2-percent raise at the beginning of the year.

Police office at middle school

The council approved the establishment of a Hudson Police Department satellite office at Hudson Middle School. The office will give police a place to write reports and take phone calls, instead of having to return to the station at First and Vine streets to complete their work.

“This will allow for a better response time to incidents on the east and south sides of the city. The benefit to the school district is they get added visibility of a squad car and uniform officer at this location,” Police Chief Marty Jensen said in a written report to the council.

Jensen said the office would be near the front entrance to the school, next to the administrative offices. The school district will provide a desk, phone and file cabinet, and the police department will contribute a computer and printer.

Other action

In other action, the council:

--Awarded the 2013 contract for sidewalk, curb and gutter repairs to Zappa Bros. Excavating of North Hudson. Zappa Bros.’ bid of $42,162 was $826 lower than the only other bid from Pember Companies of Menomonie.

Public Works Director Tom Zeuli said Zappa Bros. owner Gary Zappa anticipated getting the work done yet this year. Zappa said he would honor the price next year if the weather doesn’t cooperate, Zeuli reported.

--Approved a “Krome ‘n Kandy” hot rod and custom car event for Lakefront Park the weekend of Aug. 1-2, 2014. The show is expected to feature 150 to 250 pre-1970 cars, plus vintage motorcycles, campers and boats. It will include a beach party concert at the band shell, vendors, swappers and activities for children.

--Heard a proclamation by Mayor Alan Burchill that November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Hudson. In 2013, an estimated 45,220 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease and 38,460 will die from it, according to the proclamation that was read by Council President Rich Vanselow. Burchill was absent.

The proclamation calls attention to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a national organization that promotes public policies, research funding and services to benefit people afflicted with pancreatic cancer. The organization also works to increase public awareness of the disease and develop effective treatments and a cure.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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