by Steve Peterson
Hawarden residents may have the opportunity to participate in a city-financed sidewalk improvement plan.
Councilors gave the nod for information on the program to be sent in December utility bills.
“Doing the street project (Central Avenue) and the trail system improvements that will be going in this Spring, and looking at the overall condition of existing sidewalks, and some areas of the community that don’t have sidewalks, this is being proposed to be considered,” said City Administrator Gary Tucker. “We can put some money to it next fiscal year.”
“It’s a great opportunity for us to make improvements to sidewalks and give residents the opportunity to improve or install sidewalks at a fairly discounted price and work together as a partnership,” he said. “It will be on a first-come, first-served basis.”
“We would possibly give a loan of three years at five percent,” said Tucker. “We can do it annually based on what the budget numbers are and what we have available. It’s hard to say because you don’t know how many people will want to do this.”
“We may also apply for a Safe Routes to School Grant for 16th Street to extend the sidewalk so people can walk on a sidewalk and kids can walk to school safely,” he said.
“Over a period of time it will make our community esthetics a lot better and safer,” said Tucker.
The streets of 10th, 11th and 12th all have some sections without sidewalks. The new trail system will go from Falcon Drive to Highway 10. Also repairs to sidewalks could be done.
In most cases there wold be a 50/50 split, not including removal, with the exception of a group a 60/40 share for a block and the city may pay up to 75 percent for Central Avenue sidewalk work.
“In a typical situation it will be a 50/50 split with the city paying 50 percent of the cost and the resident paying 50 percent,” said Tucker.
“I’m in favor of a program like this,” said Councilor Patty Anderson. “If people want their sidewalks replaced, they can stand up and take advantage of the program. This is a way to start repairing sidewalks.”
After filling out paperwork, city officials will determine an applicants’ level of financial assistance. When the work is completed, city officials will inspect it for final approval. Any grants awarded will be paid directly to the contractor who performed the sidewalk replacement.
“It is better to start looking at programs like this now so we don’t have the same issues as the street projects,” said Councilor Travis Olson.
A $3,000 maximum cap was suggested by Tucker.
In other city business:
• Councilor Monte Harvey, in the claims for payment session, questioned the city’s cost for animals at $1,300 this month to West Sioux veterinarians.
“It is $175 per animal. It has really gone up the last couple of years,” said Police Chief Mike DeBruin. “We’re not taking any more animals around there.”
“We have to do something. Can’t we shop around?” asked Harvey. “We’re spending about $7,000 to $8,000 on animals and we’re getting back $1.12 on licensing fees. I think we have to look at it. How many animals does $1,300 cover? I realize we have to supply the service but do we have to go broke doing it?”
• Councilors approved by a 5-0 vote the statement of final completion and owner’s acceptance of contract construction and approval of final payment for the first phase of the Electrical Upgrade Project. The payment was for $555,990 for Karian Peterson Power Line Contracting of Montevideo, Minn.
“Karian Peterson is one of the best contractors we have had in town. They measured every line to each house and that is how they got their quantities,” said Hawarden Public Works Director Tom Kane.
A discussion of the Rides bus service contract survey was expected. Tucker provided councilors with a copy of a survey that will be sent to residents to find out who uses the service and why and who does not and why not.
“I included a revised survey that will be in the utilities’ bills on Dec. 15 and Dec. 30. We’ll get them to every household,” said Tucker.
Residents will be able to add their comments on the survey.
“From our standpoint, it is important to get some of these back. We can see if those people who are using it, if it is an important service, or how we can make it better,” said Mayor Ric Porter.
• A resolution to set the time and place for action on competitive bids for the Electric Upgrade Project, the second portion of the first phase for next Spring, was approved by a 5-0 vote. This will be on held on Jan. 9.
“This is about double the size of last year’s project with 280 services and includes the downtown area,” said Kane. “This is the second half of Phase I. It is from the old fire station on Avenue H to 23rd Street, west to the railroad tracks. It will be high voltage and is twice the transformers and cable and covers downtown,” said Kane.
• On the consent agenda, a request from Shannon Nohava of Pro Sport Bistro for renewal of Class C Liquor License for on-premise sales of liquor, beer and wine with catering privilege and living quarters was approved by a 5-0 vote.
• Porter thanked Steve and Renae Brown for decorating the city pavilion for the Christmas season, “making it very special for the holidays.”
Councilor Tim Kurth said the Hawarden 125th book is available.
“Sometime I would like to discuss the possibility of signage for our Community Center as well as getting some light in our parking lot. The possibility of extending Avenue H from Associated Church to the library and there is a jog now and we could put a sign for the Community Center for people out of town,” said Councilor Larry Bauder.
• Set the next Hawarden councilors’ meeting for 5:30 p.m., Jan. 9 at Hawarden City Offices. There will be no meeting on Dec. 26. Meetings take place the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. They are open to the public.