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The Third Avenue North project in Pierz is nearly completed. Bill Zidon with Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), the city’s engineer, said “It’s getting pretty well wrapped up.”

He told the Pierz City Council Monday that the paving is complete, as is the concrete work. Signage is will be worked on, and striping was slated to happen Wednesday, weather permitting.

He said the landscapers and seeders have to come back to touch up areas around the pond and some driveways.

As part of the final stages of the project, after a walk-through a punch list will be put together.

“The odds and ends and stuff to complete; that will still be taking place,” Zidon said.

A nice surprise, Zidon said, was that the street lights were delivered early and installed very quickly. The street lights were originally slated to be installed at the end of October.

Zidon said when the striping is complete, signs will be removed and the road will be open.

“We ask that people still drive carefully, because construction workers will still be around the site doing odds and ends,” Zidon said.

While the Council approved payment number five, in the amount of $102,730.70, the entire project will not be paid until the project is completed and accepted.

Scott Hedlund, also with SEH, told the Council that the project came in about 5% under budget overall.

Zidon said relocating mailboxes was also completed.

“A lot of work went into placing mailboxes. It was surprisingly a lot of coordination and limited locations,” Zidon said.

He said most mailboxes had to be relocated to be along the existing route of the county road carrier.

“To change their routes is not an easy task,” Zidon said.

He said instead of having a long bank of mailboxes on County Road 39, they worked to limit banks of mailboxes to six boxes on three posts. Most, he said, have two posts with four boxes.

“There won’t be 30 mailboxes lined up like it used to be,” he said. “The only mailboxes on Third are for residents on Third.”

As many as possible were placed in front of a resident’s house, so there were no worries about mailboxes being on someone else’s property, he said.

He said a few other mailboxes scattered throughout town, were being relocated to other areas as well.

“There are a few that will be on properties that do not have mailboxes, but to keep banks to a minimum and as few posts, some ended up on property that do not have mailboxes currently,” Zidon said.

While the mailboxes were not in place, the county has posts made up and ready to go. The county needs to get locates in before the mailboxes are placed.

“The county is itching to get out there and get them installed,” Zidon said.

City Administrator Bob Otremba said he wanted to bring to the Council an ordinance change, regarding mailboxes.

He said technically, mailboxes are placed on the boulevard, which is the city’s right of way.

“Technically the ordinance says you cannot have a mailbox if you don’t have property abutting the street it’s located on, so several on County Road 39 go against the ordinance,” he said.

Otremba said he felt those who had existing mailboxes along County Road 39 should be grandfathered in as able to have a mailbox there.

He said it would be a problem if residents were told they couldn’t have a mailbox on County Road 39 if they had one before.

Otremba said he felt the ordinance should be changed so the city has the right to say where mailboxes go, not the property owner.

Mail carriers only drive on one side of the road, depending upon their route, Zidon said. Mailboxes need to be placed on the carrier’s route, on the side of the road the carrier drives.

The Council voted to grandfather in mailboxes on County Road 39 for those who had them in the past. In changing the ordinance, the city would give residents an option to choose if they want a mailbox, but only available if it was on the carrier’s route and on the correct side of the road.

The Council plans a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 26, at either 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. Otremba will coordinate with the various entities involved to nail down the time.

Pierz City Council Briefs

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the Pierz City Council:

• Upon the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Board, approved three permits including: a fence permit for Gary Berg on Kapsner Street North, for a 4-foot chain link fence in his back yard; a building permit for Sunrise Ag to add a 70-by-70-foot piece to their fix-it shop for sheds on the west side; and a concrete permit for Reese Kapsner, Robert Street South, to install a sidewalk straight out of back of their home and add a circular patio at the end of it;

• Approved spending $2,900 to install irrigation at Billig Park on Main Street, which could possibly be completed this fall;

• Voted unanimously, in the absence of Council Member Jacque Ballou, not to transfer money from the Park Fund to the Electric Fund. Mayor Dave Fischer explained that about four or five years ago, money was transferred from the Electric Fund to the Park Fund to purchase the 62 acres from the Hiemenz family, the property on which the golf course expansion will take place. Each year, the Council has to decide if any of that money is going to be paid back. To date, none has been paid back. This year, money in the Park Fund is being used for the expansion project. Council Member Lynn Egan asked that a similar process be used for the money taken out of other funds for the Pierz Park expansion, not only for transparency, but to leave a paper trail because the Council in place now won’t be in place years down the road. City Administrator Bob Otremba said if it’s the intention to pay the money back with profits, the same process should be used with the park expansion project; and

• Set Monday, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m., as the date and time for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Pierz Golf Course expansion, to take place at the golf course;

The next meeting of the Pierz City Council is Monday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Pierz Dining Center.

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