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Stormwater sewer projects winding down

Some are finished, others will continue into next year

STERLING – The city continues to work its way down an ambitious list of high-priority stormwater sewer projects.

In April 2017, voters approved a referendum that doubled the local option sales tax for infrastructure projects. Most of the estimated $2.35 million a year from the tax is being used for drainage upgrades and associated road work.

Because the project list was so long, the city took out nearly $10 million in bonds to expedite the work. The sales tax money will be used to make the bond payments over a 20-year period.

With construction season winding down, some projects were started with the knowledge that they would run into next year. One of those is the reconstruction of Dillon Avenue, part of a larger project that is the most expensive taken on this year. Estimated at $1.9 million, it includes the entire Scheid Park area storm sewer system. In addition to the Dillon reconstruction work, it includes a detention basin and parts of Griswold and Woodburn avenues.

The City Council on Monday approved a partial payment of $143,859.30 to Twin City Construction for the Dillon work. Work continues there, but it won’t wrap up until next year.

“We’re still working on the Dillon project and trying to get as much done as we can yet this winter, but as we had planned, it won’t be finished this year,” City Manager Scott Shumard said.

The project at the top of the city’s stormwater sewer priority list is finished – but it wasn’t easy.

Local businessman Brick Boss and the city finalized a new redevelopment agreement on Nov. 5 for the culvert work done on his property at 2607 E. Lincolnway. The work is an important part of the larger plan to control flooding in the Northland Mall and Woodlawn areas.

Permitting issues had delayed the culvert work, so Boss had asked the city for an additional $22,000 in reimbursement, bringing the ceiling to $77,000. The deadline was extended a year, to Dec. 31.

Boss had essentially completed the work by the time the new agreement was approved by the council.

Updates also were provided Monday for the projects that ranked second and third, behind the culvert job. The council approved the partial payment of $265,581.30 to Civil Constructors for the sewer and detention basin work on Sanborn Street. That project, which includes part of North Street, was estimated to cost $375,000.

The Sanborn work is finished, but a $825,000 project on Second Avenue and Miller Road is still snarling traffic near the hospital.

“We have had some complaints from the hospital, but we’re trying to get the temporary paving done so we can get rid of the barricades,” Shumard said.

That project is a complicated one that includes building a storm sewer interceptor to channel water into an Elkhorn Creek tributary. A significant amount of road, sidewalk and curb and gutter work was needed in the area.

Other top projects are a detention basin project near the Duis Center, storm sewer and detention basins near Douglas Park, an area near the Sinnissippi Townhomes, and detention basins in the Northland Mall area.

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