Ceylon eyes Highway 263 work

CEYLON – Ceylon City Council received an update this week about plans to repair Highway 263 from I-90 to the city.

The work involves about 11 miles of road.

Minnesota Department of Transportation engineer Forrest Hasty said the construction is planned for next year and expected to be completed in 2021.

From I-90 to County Road 26 (in Fairmont) will be overlaid, which involves grinding off the asphalt and putting it back on. From County Road 26 to Ceylon will be “reclaimed,” which involves grinding off the asphalt and some base, mixing it, reapplying it and then putting new asphalt on top. The reclaimed road is supposed to be stronger and last longer than the overlaid road. There are plans to add a 4-foot shoulder to the highway that could be used by cyclists.

The council had an opportunity to ask questions about that part of Highway 263 within city limits. Sidewalks, curbs, lighting and some water lines will be replaced.

The council also received preliminary design plans. A boulevard on Main Street and bump-outs are possible. The lights might be 30 feet high and LED, which will save the city money on electricity costs. Some trees also may need to be removed.

MnDOT hired Bolton & Menk to design the plan. Bolton and Menk’s engineer for water and utilities, Greg Mitchell, joined Hasty to explain the plan for utilities replacement under the roadway in Ceylon.

Mitchell explained that some water mains are fairly new (1985) and may not need to be replaced. From Clark Street to Grove Street, the main is 8 inches and the pipe going to the side streets is 6 inches. The plan is to build new lines next to the old lines so that he old lines will function while construction continues. New lines would then be hooked up.

The proposed cost for water main replacement construction is $330,000. Funding sources may include a local water bill hike, from the present $10 per month to as much as $50. Another source could be the Rural Water Fund.

Both engineers agreed that some temporary easements from property owners will be needed to complete the work.

Open houses will be scheduled to explain the plans and detours as construction nears.

In other business, the council:

o Approved a resolution to tax Rural Service District property at 25 percent.

o Approved the removal of asbestos and demolition of a house at 405 W. Main St. The cost will be $6,500 for asbestos removal. The house will then be burned. The council tabled action on asbestos removal and demolition of a second house on Main Street. It would involve considerable asbestos removal, and cost $42,500 including demolition. Councilman Wayne Walter will attend the Martin County Commission meeting on Tuesday to ask about help to demolish these houses.

o Approved a request by Councilman John Gibeau to hold an outdoor movie in late summer or early fall in the spot near the former car wash.

o Approved a request by Mayor Fred Schmidtke, who asked for permission to block the street for a dance near Legends 2 in September, and to use the ball diamonds.