Bond, grant will give streets a facelift

Staff writer

Alvin Winter is irritated that his street, Freeborn, is in a dismal state.

“They were supposed to fix it last spring,” he said. “It is past last spring, and it’s not done.”

The city hopes to repair parts of Freeborn and other streets thanks to a community development block grant totaling $400,000.

The city won the grant in January, but money did not became available until June 1.

Streets being considered for the project include parts of Santa Fe, Lawrence, Freeborn, Thorp, Tanglewood, Nickerson, Melvin, and Roosevelt.

Because of the number of streets needing work, the council has proposed a bond that will cover costs the grant won’t. The overall project will total around $1.3 million, according to Doug Kjellin, city administrator.

The city does not anticipate raising taxes due to the bond.

Streets covered by the grant will be Freeborn, streets around the hospital, and key intersections. There are also plans to repair 4th Street in front of the jail, where construction damaged the street.

“Because there are plans to remove the old jail building, what we’re planning on doing is budgeting to fix those blocks of 4th and completing the work after the old jail building is removed,” Kjellin said.

Work will begin on the streets once the bond is passed and a contractor is hired. Kjellin hopes construction will begin by October.

The city plans to accept bids from companies able to work on multiple streets at once to expedite the process and cut mobilization costs.

The council hopes to vote on the bond issue at their next meeting July 22.

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