Street renewal moving into new Anoka neighborhood

Anoka is moving ahead on the reconstruction of three-quarters of a mile of residential streets as it starts on a new area of targeted improvement.

“This is a new neighborhood from what we have been doing,” said Public Services Director Greg Lee. “We’re looking at moving into the area south of Main Street and east of Seventh Avenue.”

The city is expecting to spend the next six years working in this neighborhood.

The 2013 project includes the reconstruction of Cross and Madison streets from Seventh Avenue to Ninth Avenue and Eighth Avenue from Jefferson Street north to Monroe Street.

Work will include a complete street upgrade including utilities under the street – water and sanitary sewer lines as well as storm sewer infrastructure upgrades with additional storm sewer lines and catch basins.

“The streets in this area are fairly flat,” said Lee. “Adding additional catch basins will help with the drainage in this area.”

Those utilities being replaced are between 60 and 70 years old.

Street lights and city signs will also be replaced, but no new sidewalks will be proposed. A segment of sidewalk that currently exists on Cross Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues will be replaced.

The project is estimated to cost $1.36 million. Street improvements will account for just under $700,000 of those costs, along with $304,000 for water main improvements, $200,000 for sanitary sewer replacement, $137,000 for storm sewer improvements and $17,000 for electric conduit lines.

There is a long list of funding sources for the project, with the lion’s share, 35 percent, coming from the street renewal fund. Assessments to owners of properties that benefit from the project will chip in 25 percent. The remainder will be paid from various city utility funds.

There are 63 residential properties included in the assessment for this project. A typical residential assessment will be $5,770.

The rates are $2,750 per residential unit, along with a $14 front footage charge and assessments of $1,900 for water and sewer services.

“These rates are the same as they have been for the last four years,” said Lee. “Ever since 2010 these are the rates that have been established and we’re not proposing any increase in the rates.”

Pay options for those homeowners include a lump sum payment by Nov. 15, 2013 or to pay it back over 10 years at an interest rate of 5 percent.

For property owners that qualify by age or income level, that payment can also be deferred until the property is sold.

During the city’s assessment hearing no residents raised concerns about the amount they will be charged for the 2013 project.


Scope of the project

Anoka resident Pat Walker has lobbied the council to add to the amount of street reconstruction done each year so the neighborhoods will be wrapped up more quickly and the city could save some money on mobilization of equipment.

According to Craig Jochum, project engineer with Hakanson Anderson, contracted to do the engineering work on the project, smaller projects can produce more competitive bids because they are doable by more construction companies.

Mobilization of equipment typically runs at 2 to 3 percent of a project’s cost, or $36,000 for what the city plans to do in 2013, Jochum said.

It is difficult to answer what the savings could be by doing one or two larger projects, he said.

Last summer the city did do an extended project, but still had to break it into two phases, said Lee.

“By making the project larger we do have to extend out the construction season,” he said.

Councilmember Jeff Weaver said that what the city can afford drives the size of the projects.

“I think we do these projects based on the amount of funds we have,” he said. “So we could do a bigger project but we’ve got to work with the funds we have in the bank to offset the cost to the residents.”

City Manager Tim Cruikshank agreed. The city would either have to increase assessments to residents or the city would have to borrow to fund the project, he said.

“We’re basically biting off what we can chew,” said Cruikshank. “We’re doing the size of project we’re doing for a variety of reasons, not the least of which this is what we’ve budgeted and this is what we can afford.”

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]