The city of LaPrairie is postponing an infrastructure improvement project for one year in the hope the delay will result in more favorable funding options.
The city plans to extend sanitary sewer on LaPrairie Avenue, Northland Street and Glenwood Drive as well as a reconstruction of Glenwood Drive. Total project costs are estimated at about $635,000 for the sewer extensions and about $223,000 for Glenwood Drive.
The city fell short of expectations for outside funding, however, when an infrastructure grant application netted just $150,000 instead of the requested $500,000 (the city filed a joint application with the city of Grand Rapids) from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation agency.
Mayor Mike Fall informed the council at its Monday meeting that if the project took place in 2015, instead of 2014 as originally planned, that half or more of the funding could likely be obtained from outside sources.
City Engineer Glen Hodgson agreed that postponement was the best course of action. “It’s prudent to wait,” he said.
Itasca County also planned a reconstruction of CSAH 85, which also appears on hold for another year, said Fall. County officials told the mayor that additional state funding for that project would likely be available in 2015.
While the bulk of the infrastructure improvement work will take place in 2015, preliminary work, such as securing easements and moving utilities, will take place this construction season.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the minutes of the Jan. 6 council meeting.
• Approved claims as presented for payment and the treasurer’s reports for Dec. 16-31, 2013 and Jan. 1-15, 2014.
• Approved donating $250.00 to Greenway CloseUp. In exchange, the group will provide equal value labor to the city.
• Noted receipt of a letter from Grand Rapids Public Utilities that stated the city will need to come up with nearly $5,000 in unanticipated costs this year. The expenditure stems from planned improvements to the Grand Rapids Public Utilities Wastewater Treatment plant, which also serves LaPrairie. Under terms of a cooperative sewage facility agreement, LaPrairie is obligated to fund 4.52 percent of any capital expenditures as related to the treatment process. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $530,000, of which $106,000 would be funded domestically – making LaPrairie’s estimated cost $4,791. Payment will be due at the completion of the project – tentatively scheduled for June of this year.
• Approved an annual membership in the Greenway Area Business Association at a cost of $50.
• Approved a new liquor license for the Rainbow Bottle Shop due to an ownership change.