Motorists can expect road work on Waconia Parkway South later this summer.

The Waconia City Council has authorized advertisement for bids for a corridor project for Waconia Parkway South from Pond Lane to Highway 5.

The improvements are driven largely by current traffic and future development. In fact, earth work for a residential development called The Fields already is underway along the north edge of the roadway. A developer’s agreement and final plat for phase one of that development also were approved last Monday in the council’s consent agenda.

The first phase of The Fields consists of 86 single-family residential lots. The full plat includes 214 single-family parcels.

A key traffic change on the parkway will be the addition of a roundabout at Pond Lane where access will be provided to the new development.

Other expected improvements include resurfacing, turn lanes and stop light traffic control at the intersection of Waconia Parkway South and Oak Avenue. The spur of Oak Avenue to the north would become a cul-de-sac within The Fields, accessible from Kinder Drive. Improvements also are planned at other intersections along Waconia Parkway South, also pedestrian enhancements.

The project is currently being reviewed by Minnesota Department of Transportation for possible funding assistance. The project bid award is anticipated in late July with phased construction to start in August and continue until completion in summer 2022.

Beginning of construction is likely to coincide with the Minnesota state amateur baseball tournament that Waconia is hosting at Lions Field starting in mid-August through Labor Day weekend; however, project planners indicate the work should not interfere with visits to the ballpark because traffic is expected to be routed down Highway 10 to Highway 5.

As a footnote, Fox 9 News is expected to be in Waconia on June 2 to shoot a profile story as one of the host communities for the state baseball tournament. The other hosts are Chaska and Hamburg.

In other business, the council authorized a construction contract for just over $1 million to successful bidder Lametti & Sons for sanitary sewer lift station improvements for the Lakeview Terrace development. The improvements are expected to help prevent sewer failure and improve safety in servicing the lift station.

The council also authorized another contract award of $83,184 to Veit Construction to install storm pipe lining to rehabilitate segments of storm sewer pipe at Willowbrooke, Highway 5, Mill Lane and Fox Run Park.

In other business, the council also accepted the city’s 2020 audit report from independent auditor Redpath and Company. The audit identified no findings, and indicates the city continues to be in a strong financial position with an assigned fund balance of some $3.2 million, or 56 percent of its ensuing year’s operating budget.

The latest audit included an additional fund review for 2020, reflecting the $988,766 in COVID relief funding the city received from the federal government.

The federal stimulus package permits a variety of local government expenditures, including public health expenses, household and business assistance, infrastructure, also recovery from lost revenues and other economic impacts of the pandemic. The city’s latest relief funding amounts to some $1.4 million, funds which must be used by 2024.

In final business, the council adopted a trial summer hour schedule for Waconia City Hall, effective from Memorial Day through Labor Day. City offices will open a half hour earlier during the week and close earlier on Fridays to respond to fewer public visits and sometime staffing challenges on summer Friday afternoons. Summer hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

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