After dealing with several routine issues, the LaPrairie City Council turned its collective attention to City Engineer Bob Beaver, who presented two items for discussion at the regular council meeting on Feb. 1.
The first item was the Grand Rapids/LaPrairie Snowmobile Connection Trail. Beaver characterized the connection trail as a three-segmented trail: The 169 Trail, the Poplar Trail and the Fraser Segment. Bids for constructing the connection trail had been opened the previous Tuesday and were received from William J. Schwartz & Sons, Hammerlund Construction, Casper Construction and Low Impact Excavators. Beaver said the lowest bid amongst the four contractors came from Schwartz & Sons at $215,226.53. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $223,360.00.
The owner of the project, St. Louis and Lake County’s Regional Rail Authority, recommended awarding the contract to Schwartz & Sons. The project had been slated for the 2015 construction season but was delayed by litigation. Beaver said the construction would begin sometime after May.
The second item that Beaver brought up for consideration was radar speed signs. The council has been looking for ways to reduce vehicle speeds in the city. Officials are interested in portable signs that could be mounted to an existing sign-post or placed on an independent post. Beaver said that units he has looked into register, display and store vehicle speed. The collected data can be downloaded to a laptop via several methods.
Beaver told councilors that he gathered information from three companies and the radar sign best suited for LaPrairie costs about $3,400 per unit. He added that the city of Cohasset had purchased two similar units, which Cohasset workers move every few days. Beaver said that if the signs were not moved, drivers tended to become accustomed to them, and that moving the signs periodically offered the element of surprise, and increased their effectiveness. The city engineer said that he would request a quote from the company that sold Cohasset its signs.
In other business, the council:
• Authorized the city clerk and her replacement to attend election and clerk training at a cost of $220 per person.
• Rescheduled a public hearing for April 18 to discuss alley vacations.