The Randall City Council approved a motion Wednesday, to repave the parking area that runs along Pacific Avenue.
The area between the sidewalk and the grass near the railroad tracks provides extra downtown parking between City Hall and the Randall State Bank. The land is owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, but the city pays a lease to use it.
City Manager Matt Pantzke said the area is in “horrible condition.”
“They will not do any maintenance or anything on it,” he said, referring to BNSF. “It is widely used in the business district.”
The city has done patches and minor repairs in the parking area over the years, but Pantzke said it is time to do something permanent. He reached out to Ideal Construction, LLC, of Staples, to see what needed to be done.
A representative from Ideal gave the city two options. The first was to mill out 18 inches of asphalt beyond the concrete and blend it in. It would then put an inch and a half of asphalt over the entire roadbed. They would also fill in any dips or potholes with new asphalt.
The cost of that option was estimated at $19,600, and the contractor projected it would last 10 - 15 years.
The other option would be to tear all of the existing asphalt out, put in a new base and put two inches of asphalt over the top of it. The cost of that work was estimated at $37,570.
“He was confident that option one was our option,” Pantzke told the Council. “When I spoke with him I said, ‘You know, I don’t know if this is something that can be repaired, we can do an overlay on it and get some good life on it or do we need to completely tear it up?’ He said, ‘I’ll come out and take a look at it and give you two options.’ Again, he’s confident that option one would give us 10 - 15 years of good life out of that area. We don’t see a lot of heavy traffic on it. It’s mostly automotive and parking.”
Council Member Carrie Turner asked if there was any concern about what she referred to as “boils” in the pavement, areas where it puckers up because of something beneath the surface.
The only way to completely eliminate that would take extensive work, according to Pantzke. A similar project was done on Fourth Street in 2015 and, for about 20% of the area, he said the dirt work and laying fabric alone was $7,500. That amount didn’t include repavement.
“Sounds like option one’s pretty good,” Turner said.
Pantzke said he also expressed to the contractors that they would ideally like for the work to be done before the city hosts a parade as part of its Fourth of July celebration. He said the plan is for the work to be completed in June.
The contractor will also put a layer of tar on the alley behind City Hall in preparation for the city’s street dance during the same celebration.
“That would be above and beyond (the parking lot work), but I said, ‘If you’re here, is that something that could be addressed as well?’” Pantzke said. “He said, ‘Yeah. I think we’ll just haul some extra tar in.’ He didn’t give me an exact price on what that would cost, but he said, ‘The equipment’s here, we’re here, we’ll just go throw some tar on it and make it look a little better; and prevent somebody from tripping.’”
Council Member Ernie Wright made a motion to accept and approve option one. It passed unanimously.
“It isn’t something that we budgeted for this year, but the winter took a toll on it and it’s just time we do something,” Pantzke said.
Randall City Council Briefs:
In other business Wednesday, the Randall City Council:
• Heard Camp Ripley’s annual community impact report and training schedule;
• Approved a motion to sell two 25-foot, city-owned lots on Pacific Avenue to Robert and Lidia Atkinson for $1,500 with the stipulations the parties split closing costs and the lots be combined to one, 50-foot parcel;
• Approved a motion to trade in the city’s New Holland 3050 tractor to Midwest Machinery for a John Deere 4720 at a cost of $13,000;
• Extended its agreement with Constellation Energy to hedge 80% of its historical natural gas consumption from December 2028 to October 2031 at a cost of $3.10/mmBtu;
• Discussed replacing 40 city street signs to improve condition and reflectivity. No motion was made;
• Discussed a potential expansion of the Brummer residential area on the north side of town. No motion was made;
• Discussed holding the city’s Independence Day celebration on Saturday, July 3, in part to not have to compete with celebrations happening on the Fourth in other cities; and
• Discussed a fire department training on May 1 and safety measures that will be taken in the area following the event.
The next meeting of the Randall City Council is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at Randall City Hall.