East Bethel chooses 2012 city streets projects

The city of East Bethel will be repairing a number of roads this summer. The list of roads that need a new seal coat, cracks sealed or new striping was approved April 4 by the East Bethel City Council.

The work is slated to cost approximately $200,000, according to a city staff memo. The city will be able to tackle some projects originally slated for 2013 because of low bid prices. The city originally estimated that the proposed projects would cost $212,400, but the price came in just under $150,000.

The city’s Roads Commission recommended taking advantage of the low bid prices by taking care of some 2013 projects in 2012. The council concurred.

The projects the city already planned to do in 2012 included:

• Seal coat portions of Hupp Street and 239th, Erskine, Kissel Street, 234th Lane, 231st Lane, 233rd Avenue and 224th Avenue.

• Crack seal 100,000 lineal feet on areas that will be seal coated.

• Restripe 60,000 lineal feet on various roadways.

The projects the city added to the 2012 list includes:

• Seal coat portions of Sportsman Road, Channel Lane, Thielan Road, Naples Street, Rendova Street, 190th Lane and 190th Avenue.

The city of East Bethel is one of 10 cities involved in the North Metro Regional Street Maintenance Materials program. Coon Rapids collects the project lists from each city and submits one long list in advertisements for bids. The thought process is that increasing the amount of material and projects will lead to lower costs than if each city advertised for bids on its own.

The other cities involved with this program are Andover, Anoka, Brooklyn Center, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake and Mahtomedi.

East Bethel pays for city road projects like this with property tax revenue. The city in 2011 transferred $400,000 from its general fund to the street capital fund. The city’s 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan budgets $425,000 to be annually transferred from the general fund to this street capital fund.

Cities generally keep fund balances to cover major future projects or to cover themselves in case bids come in over estimate, for example. East Bethel is planning for some major projects in 2013, including working on more streets in the Coon Lake Beach area and working on streets in the Whispering Aspen development.

The Whispering Aspen streets were originally slated to be worked on this year, but City Administrator Jack Davis said the city delayed this project until 2013 because a decision had to first be made on the future of the Castle Towers wastewater treatment plant.

The city will be extending a force main pipe farther north than originally planned to service the Whispering Aspen and Castle Towers mobile home park residents with the new Metropolitan Council sewer system. Rather than tear up roads one year only to have them torn up again the following year for the sewer pipes, this work will take place all in one year.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]