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Emily City Council Approves Funds for Bridge Report

Web posted December 4, 2018
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

(Editor’s Note: The following article was written from the unapproved minutes of a meeting of the Emily City Council held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 as provided by the City Clerk.)

The Emily City Council approved spending $6,400 to get an engineering report to determine what to do about repairs to the Emily Dam bridge when it met in regular session Tuesday, November 13. Members present included Mayor Roger Lund and councilmembers Dan Barrett, Gerhart Hanson, Jan Mosman and Bill Spiess. Also present were Jeff Ledin, City Engineer, Cari Johnson, City Clerk and Treasurer, and Pam Roden, Deputy Clerk.

Ledin said Wayne Dosh and Rob Hall of the Crow Wing County Highway Department had given a report a couple of years ago recommending that the City budget for replacement of the deck planks of the bridge. Prior work on the bridge involved replacement of nine wood beams with steel Ibeams which carry the load. The outside edges of the bridge are the original wood beams with attached guardrail posts. Dosh recently inspected the bridge and discovered one of the wooden outside edge beams has been eaten by ants and is no longer connected to the support structure. His recommendation is to have maintenance done.

The engineering firm of SEH submitted a proposal to do the engineering work for $6,400 to prepare a quote for repair of the bridge in 2019, including development of a bill of materials and solicitation of contractor bids to purchase the materials and complete the repairs. A rough estimate of the cost of the work is $25,000 to $30,000 to repair the bridge. The condition of the bridge will only get worse so the work should be done in 2019. Funds of $10,000 are planned in the 2019 budget for bridges and roads which could be used for the project. The City should contact the Crow Wing County Highway Department to determine if it would participate in the cost of the repair because the primary use of the bridge is by the County to access timber land. The work may be assessed to benefiting property owners, such as the County. The City Engineer is willing to facilitate a conversation with the County, with the Council’s participation, regarding funding for or oversight of the work.

The Council also approved final payment of $4,693.11 to Dechantal Excavating for the public parking lot and alley improvement project.

There was a question regarding whether the City could provide assistance to businesses for issues resulting from the State Highway 6 road reconstruction project. According to the League of Minnesota Cities’ public purpose expenditure chart, assistance to businesses could not be authorized. The City Attorney has been tasked with discussing road reconstruction project issues and possible solutions for businesses with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The City Attorney was asked how the City could legally assist local business with solutions to road reconstruction and public safety issues.

Park Commission Chairperson Christine Roos reported the Park Commission tabled resurfacing the tennis court. One bid was obtained for the work so additional bids would be needed. Research is needed to determine ownership of the tennis courts, fire hall, and maintenance shop properties.

Research is being done on the cost of quality playground basketball poles, hoops, and backboards.

Park Commissioner Jason Roos reported on options for a City unsupervised beach. The Park Commission chose three possible sites: Emily Lake near the old Bungalow location; Trout Lake at the public beach/boat landing and Little Emily Lake, previously called Squaw Lake. The Emily Lake beach was too mucky and would not be handicapped accessible. The Trout Lake location is small with neighbors close by and the beach is pebbly. The east side of Little Emily Lake has white sand and would be a beautiful swimming beach. Crow Wing County Land Commission owns the access land for Little Emily Lake and would be interested in working with the City by either selling or giving the property to Emily. The Land Commission would prefer not to divide the land. The City needs to develop a property description for the Land Commission to be able to discuss the property options. The options are the City could purchase the land for up to $250,000 or Crow Wing County could give the land to the City. The property value was estimated at $197,400. The Park Commission asked to move forward with the land request, provide a design, and develop the plan for use of the area. The beach access is tax forfeit property. There is a minimum maintenance road which would need to be improved for access to the land. There is a large wooded area behind the beach access which could be cleared for parking, development of walking and ADA accessible trails, and or a park or picnic area. The Council voted to authorize the Park Commission to design and plan for a city beach at Little Emily Lake and submit the plan to the Council.

Park Commissioner Jason Roos contacted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the group involved with developing the Cuyuna bike trail system. The DNR and Cuyuna bike trail group are interested in building more bike trails in Emily. The DNR would like to work with the forestry department to determine if the City would be able to access the Emily State Forest to build bike trails. The Park Commission requested to work with the DNR and the forestry department to develop a bike trail system. There has been interest in having a trail outside of the downtown area. The Council voted to authorize the Park Commission to investigate development of a bike trail in the Emily State Forest.

Chairperson Roos reported the Park Commission requested permission to pursue costs of building a band shelter in the City Park instead of a public restroom. A band shelter could be used on Emily Day, by high school bands, to hold music in the park, show movies, and for functions and events, such as weddings. Park dedication funds could be used for building either a band shelter or a public restroom. The result of surveys over the last ten years have shown an interest in a public restroom. The Council voted to have the Park Commission research the cost and uses of such a structure.

Maintenance Shop

An estimate was received as a budget design bid for building a maintenance shop. The estimated cost is within the planned budget amount for the shop. There was a question regarding the level of involvement of SEH, the City’s engineers, with building the shop. Sourcewell has a contract with Gordian, a company that provides construction data services. Bids would not be required because Sourcewell is a national cooperative purchasing source. Sourcewell contractors have already completed the bidding process. The City would have no requirements for bidding, including publishing. The chosen contractor would manage the various components of the project. The plan is to build a new shop in 2019. A special meeting will be set up with a Gordian representative.

Other Business
In other business, the Council:

• Approved the hiring of David Adickes as a firefighter pending pre-employment screening;

• Approved a resolution to certify unpaid sewer charges to property taxes in the amount of $4,379.96;

• Voted to send a letter of appreciation to Crow Wing Power for its work on moving a power pole in the public parking lot and installing street lights in the recent road reconstruction project and

• Announced that a truth in taxation public hearing will be held on Tuesday, December 11 at 6 p.m.

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