Boyceville village board sees overview for the proposed Main Street project

BOYCEVILLE — Erik Evenson of MSA Engineering, Architects and Surveying of Rice Lake presented a preliminary overview of the Boyceville’s $1.3 million Main Street project during a special meeting of the village board of trustees held last Wednesday.

Evenson reviewed the scope of the project with trustees telling them it would encompass the reconstruction of Main Street from a few hundred feet west of Ash Street all the way to East Street (State Road 79) at the August 22 meeting.

The project, according to Evenson, would include all new water mains and water service laterals, sewer mains and laterals, reconstruction of the road way including new pavement, new sidewalks with handicap ramps at all intersections on both sides of the street as well as new curb and gutter on the south side of Main Street throughout the proposed construction area.

The village has already received a commitment of nearly $900,000 in grants to help aid in funding the reconstruction of Boyceville’s Main Street. The Board officially accepted a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) at its early August meeting and it will be used in conjunction with a $380,000 MSID (road grant).

Evenson stated the property owners in the reconstruction area would also be assessed a portion of the upgrades but noted that the CDBG funding would require the village to forgive the assessments to those property owners with low to moderate incomes.

The work would also include the replacement of the box culvert that is located east of the Ash Street and work on the protective guard rails.

The review also lead into a discussion on road right-of-way issues on portions of the project.

The proposed width on the west end of the Main Street reconstruction is 33 feet and widens to 40 feet beginning at Ash Street through Center Street which matches current dimensions.

Problems, however, arise running east from Center Street where current Main Street widths gradually increase from 40 feet in front of TMS Tire and Auto Center, to 44 feet and then 47 feet in front of Service Master (former Interstate Lumber Building) and then goes to 48 feet at Race Street in front of  the old Cenex feed mill where it continues to Winter Street at that 48-foot width. Between Winter and East Streets the road widths decrease to 38 feet before reaching 35 feet by mid block.

Evenson said MSA was proposing to make a uniform 40-foot road width throughout the project thereby adhering to the village’s 50 foot right-of-way.

Evenson said that as the road is currently laid out, between Center and Winter Streets, several feet of it are on private property. A 40-foot width would eliminate this issue without the need to enter into a DOT Real Estate Acquisition Process which would require surveying of all property in question and an estimated value.

Evenson noted that this could be a three-month process and would allow each property owner 60 days to do their own survey and assessment.

If a price for purchase could be agreed upon with the owners in questions the project could move forward with road widths staying at their current measurements. But if an owner objects and a fair price cannot be agreed upon by both parties, Evenson said that would then trigger a case for an Imminent Domain process which could take another six months to a year.

After several minutes of contemplation and discussion among board members and Evenson, Village President Gib Krueger made a motion to keep the current road widths on the south side starting at the property line between TMS Tire and Service Master moving east to Winter Street and to enter into the process to purchase additional right-of-way for the village. Trustee Keith Sorenson second the motion which passed with all seven members including Brad Stevens, Trudie Chernak, Jonathan Farrell, Mary Lagerstrom and Bud Gilbertson voting in favor.

Street Lights

Street light ownership was another project item that the board tackled last Wednesday.

The village currently owns the poles and street light but they could chose to turn over ownership to Xcel Energy who would then design new lights and poles for the project and charge the village annual rent for the lights.

Xcel Energy gave a rough estimate of  $50,000 to $60,00 for the new lighting. According to Evenson, the project has a grant amount of $150,000 to replace the old poles and lights with new poles featuring LED lighting.

The reconstruction would include the placement of underground conduit to accommodate electrical wiring and speaking wiring to replace all overhead lines.

Evenson, however, cautioned the board that with Xcel ownership of the light poles comes new and very strict guidelines that do not allow for flags, speakers, decorations or even electrical outlets to be placed on any poles.

Upon hearing that, the board quickly moved to approve that the village retain ownership of the poles and lights.

Charlotte Street Extension     

The board also discussed a proposed extension of Charlotte Street on the Village’s southeast side that would service the proposed new fire hall which may be located on property directly east of behind the Boyceville Cenex building.

Evenson distributed a drawing that showed the proposed Charlotte Street extension running north of the current Cenex property off State Road 79 then making a 90 degree turn to the south and connecting up to Range Road. The project would include new water and sewer mains to serve the new fire hall and adjoining properties.

Trustee Bud Gilbertson noticed that a small portion appeared to run through the airport property which was confirmed by Evenson.

“No pun intended but that is not going to fly,” said Gilbertson.

After a brief discussion the board moved on without making any decisions or commitments.

Other Business

In other business the board approved a change to the new water meter opt-out policy that it had approved earlier in the month. According to Trustee Farrell, the orginal policy had run afoul of the Public Service
Commission. The policy was changed to reflect a one-time charged of $397.50 to pay for installation and components on the outside of buildings and a $20 per quarter fee to read the meters.

The board then went into closed sessions to discuss a possible land purchase and a school-based police liaison officer.

The full board was also set to meet last evening, August 28, in closed session to discuss potential village property for sale and police department issues. 

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