Council gives unanimous OK to sidewalk, storm sewer project



Noting it was not an easy decision, four City Council members unanimously adopted a resolution of necessity to proceed with a storm sewer and sidewalk project involving South 20th Street, 1st and 2nd Avenue South.

Four residents of the neighborhood addressed the Council during a public hearing held March 18. The citizens, who all own property in the project area, primarily objected to the city’s plan for five-foot wide sidewalks, rather than constructing four-foot walkways.  

Carol Story told the Council she sees only minimal foot traffic in the area and believed safety would be enhanced by locating the sidewalk proposed for 2nd Avenue to the south side of the street, rather than the north side.  The south side has no intersections and fewer power poles and trees which would be affected by the project, she said.  The north side of the road has three intersections, she noted.  Story also pointed out there are other sidewalk options nearby connecting Main Avenue to 2nd Avenue.  

In response to the objection to a five-foot sidewalk made by Story and her neighbors Alyssa Muller, Bill Otterman and Shelly Wander, consulting engineer Jason Petersburg, of Veenstra & Kimm, explained the City has typically used five-foot walkways in areas where a sidewalk only exists on one side of the street.  

City Council members said that in an effort to make the project more feasible, affected property owners will only be assessed for two-feet of the sidewalk.  Previously, the city has paid for two-feet of a sidewalk project, but this is the first time a three-feet cost share has been offered.

“What you don’t know is you are looking at the guy who has been pushing like a bad habit to get more sidewalks in town since I’ve been here (on Council) and that’s six years.  We’re finally starting to see some progress,” said At-Large Councilman Mike Callanan, who presided as Mayor Pro Tem at the meeting.  “We are working hard to develop a plan to identify bad - Read More Via e-Edition

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