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Blue Earth approves Leland Parkway project

BLUE EARTH — Blue Earth City Council voted Monday to proceed with the 2020 Leland Parkway street reconstruction project, a joint city, county, state aid project.

The vote came after a public hearing. About 10 property owners along the proposed project route — parts of First Street as well as Leland Parkway all the way to the intersection with Highway 169 — were present.

After a presentation by city engineer Wes Brown of Bolton & Menk, citizens asked questions. Most had to do with concerns about access to residences and businesses along the route during construction. Brown said they will do as much as they can to work with businesses to keep access open as much of the time as possible.

The project is estimated to cost $3.65 million, with the county (using state aid highway funds), the city and Blue Earth Light and Water covering the costs.

Of the total, property owners along the project route will be assessed for $42,840 for utility service lines to their homes and buildings, and $249,969 for 30 percent of the street resurfacing costs. Other costs, such as water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer main lines, as well as a bike/walk trail, will not be assessed.

Construction is expected to run from July through October next year.

In other business at its meeting last night, the council:

o Passed a proposed 2020 budget, with a property tax levy of $1.65 million, an 8.6 percent increase over the current year. However, council members say they plan to reduce the levy to about a 3.5 percent increase for taxpayers by the time they pass a final budget and levy Dec. 2.

o Voted to have the city attorney proceed with a new animal ordinance pertaining to chickens kept in the city, as per the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

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