Sunday, December 21, 2014
   
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Lake Avenue width to remain

City council decides against narrowing Fourth Street.

Not enough room for semi-truck trailers and farm equipment, plus other concerns, will keep the status quo on a portion of Lake Avenue.

Gothenburg City Council members decided, at their Dec. 6 meeting, that it wasn’t worth narrowing the street nine feet, when it’s re-paved.

City officials plan to re-pave three blocks of Lake Avenue, between Fourth and Seventh streets. Reducing the width, at a cost of $368,164 (including a new water line), would have saved taxpayers an estimated $46,636.

With the current width, the price tag for re-paving the street—plus the water line—will cost about $414,800.

Several property owners voiced their concerns about the width and other issues that included:

Access to their businesses and water availability during construction.

Concern about narrower turning radius for southbound trucks as they approach Highway 47.

Concern with turning radius, when trains block the railroad crossing and concrete trucks try to enter the Seventh Street intersection (Paulsen Inc. has a cement plant in the area), as cars wait on Lake Avenue.

Travis Mason of Miller & Associates Consulting Engineers which is designing the project, said there are several ways to address access to businesses during construction such as gap paving or paving half of the street at a time.

Mason noted that most businesses affected have access from a side street. Driveways would be shut down for approximately two to three days.

During installation of the water line, he said businesses would probably be without water for half a day.

He estimated that the project would take about three months.

Kim Slack, owner of S&S Auto Parts, said he’d like to see a lowered curb at his business for better access to parking. Slack also expressed concern about standing water that freezes at his business because of poor drainage.

Mason said he would do what he could to address the issue, noting that the street is relatively flat.

“We want water out because that’s what breaks pavement,” Mason said.

Property owner Lois Stanton and Gary Mroczek, owner of Pony Express Chevrolet, said they favored keeping Lake Avenue’s width the same.

Mayor Joyce Hudson and the council agreed, directing city officials to have a design agreement with Miller & Associates ready at the Dec. 20 meeting.

In other business, the council:

granted a request by Joe Richeson of Richeson Well Service to maintain a well at 520 10th St. This means the business can drill into the alley, which is city right of way, north of Nebraska Salt & Grain Co.’s new downtown offices.

Richeson said his company needs to put in a new well for a heat pump at the business because the existing one began pumping sand.

passed, on first reading, a law that cleans up language about when meters are read and billing is done.

approved, on first reading, a law about submission of plans of large buildings, occupied by 20 or more people, to the state fire marshal. The state fire marshal also does final inspection of such buildings.

learned that the waste water treatment plant is paid for after 18 years.

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