Downtown alley rehab project in the works

by Marianne Gasaway

The City of Clear Lake plans to further enhance its downtown with a downtown alley reconstruction project which will not only beautify an area, but provide a few more parking spots.

Monday night the Council approved a professional services agreement for design and construction services for the alley north of Main located between N. 4th and 5th Streets.

The project was inspired by plans made by Alliant Energy to do utility work in the alley in order to accommodate electric services for the new businesses going in at the former Thrifty White building.  Alliant and the City discussed taking advantage of the opportunity to proceed with additional city utility work in the alley, with Alliant agreeing to reimburse the city for 50 percent of the pavement restoration costs.

The city plans to reposition its storm sewer line in the area, as well as roof drains that dump into the alley. 

According to City Administrator Scott Flory, the project will be similar to one done in 2018 between Starboard Market and Clear Lake Bank & Trust.  Decorative stamped colored concrete will again be used, with bollards that are lighted, lockable and removable. 

“It will be a nice clean up for that alley,” said Flory, adding that power poles will be removed, which will also dramatically improve aesthetics.  

The total project is estimated to cost $100,000, with Alliant reimbursing the city about $20,000.  The tentative schedule calls for bid letting Sept. 2, with construction starting on Sept. 13 and completion Nov. 12.  The council approved the professional services agreement with Veenstra & Kimm in an amount not to exceed $16,250.

Other business

In other business Monday, the Council approved a new position requested by Clear Lake Police Chief Pete Roth.  The department will advertise a part-time dedicated records clerk position.  Roth noted the position was considered prior to the pandemic, but was not acted upon.  Now, as the court system is re-open-

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