City portion of St. Francis roundabouts project cost estimated at $670,625

A proposed joint powers agreement presented by the Anoka County Highway Department to the St. Francis City Council on June 2 estimates the city’s portion of costs related to the 2015 reconstruction and addition of roundabouts on Bridge Street (Highway 24) at $670,624.60.

That amount would apply if the city moves ahead with a few optional items, including trails along the new road and a sidewalk along the north side of the school entrance. If the city decides against building those items, its share of the cost drops to an estimated $505,777.72.

The estimated construction cost of the total project is $3.12 million, or $2.96 million without the optional items. Federal funds in the amount of $1.49 million are available for the project and will be split between the city and county based on the ratio of eligible cost incurred by each, according to the agreement.

“I wasn’t expecting the number to be this large,” said St. Francis Mayor Jerry Tveit, adding that he had thought the city’s share would be between $200,000 and $250,000.

Curt Kobilarcsik, Right of Way Supervisor for Anoka County, agreed that the new cost estimate is a substantial increase from the original $1.65 million estimate. The additional costs stem from the optional trails, additional lighting and other items that were added to the project after the original estimate. Kobilarcsik said that the estimate includes safeguards, so there is confidence that the latest cost estimate is the highest the project could cost.

Although the cost of the proposed trails in the project would initially be the sole responsibility of the city, Kobilarcsik said the county is preparing documents to adopt the trail into the county regional trail system, making it potentially eligible for funding through the Metropolitan Council’s Regional Parks Capital Improvement Program. The county could potentially seek reimbursement for half of the city’s cost and then reimburse the city should the funding be secured.

The city council took no action on the proposed joint powers agreement Monday, but plans are for the council to make a decision on the agreement at its July 7 meeting.