Anoka County is turning back a street to the city of Anoka.
But instead of receiving the road in an upgraded condition, which is typical in a turnback agreement, the city will take a cash payment instead.
Anoka County will pay the city of Anoka $1.1 million under the turnback agreement, putting North Street under the city’s jurisdiction.
Council Member Jeff Weaver voiced some reservations.
“That road is brutal,” Weaver said when the City Council voted to approve the turnback.
North Street is a popular connection to shopping areas in Coon Rapids, Cub Foods Riverdale in particular.
“Usually when we do a turnback, we take the road redone, to our specifications, and then we don’t have to worry about it,” Weaver said. “The minute we sign this document, we’re on the hook for a mess.”
While Weaver voted in favor of the turnback, he said he thought it was a mistake.
“I think that strategically we’re making a brutal error by taking this back not redone,” he said.
According to engineering technician Ben Nelson, the $1.1 million the city will receive from the county will take care of the needed road improvements.
“Changing North Street to a state-aid route, the city will be able to claim these miles giving the city more money for state aid funding,” Nelson said.
As early as 2018, the city could get to work resurfacing the road.
But at the west end of the segment, near Eighth avenue, only cosmetic fixes will be done since this area is targeted for redevelopment, Nelson said.
That would include a 2-inch overlay that would hold the road together for two to seven years.
The rest of the road, through to Coon Rapids, will need a full-depth reclamation.
Nelson said they had hoped to coordinate work with upgrades on the Coon Rapids side of the border.
Council Member Mark Freeburg said it would be an advantage for the city to take over the road as soon as possible, instead of waiting on Anoka County to make repairs.
“2018 would be plenty early,” Freeburg said. “At least we’re controlling our destiny because we own the road.”