THE FIRST MEASURABLE snow of the season blanketed the Clearwater area Tuesday evening, turning the downtown area into a picture postcard scene before the melting began Wednesday. Temperatures got above freezing, but shaded areas still had remnants of the snowfall Thursday. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

No decision yet on street project

Staff Writer
Ken Francis


The Clearwater City Council decided Monday to hold off on any street project until the maintenance department has a chance to inspect the condition of the city’s water main.
At the Oct. 21 council meeting, Engineer Kevin Bittner was asked to put together a cost estimate for a scaled-back version of the Northeast Area Street project so the council could compare it to the cost of a complete reconstruction project.
Monday, the council reviewed a report from Bittner that gave an estimate of $1 million for reclaiming the existing pavement and overlaying with a new bituminous section. The report said the key to reclaiming bituminous pavement is the existence of an underlying aggregate base to mix with the pulverized pavement.
Since the Oct. 21 meeting, city staff was able to locate a soil boring report from 2006 that showed there was no aggregate base on approximately two-thirds of the streets in the project area.
Those sections of streets include: Lime Street from Walnut Street to the north end cul de sac; Bluff Street between Oak Street and Main Street; Spring Street from Walnut Street to Linn Street; Linn Street from Bluff Street to Spring Street; Oak Street from Bluff Street to Main Street; Elm Street from Lime Street to Bluff Street and from Spring Street to Main Street; Maple Street from Spring Street to Main street and Pine Street from Co. Rd. 75 to Spring Street.
Bittner said those streets would require bituminous removal, excavation and construction of an aggregate base and bituminous pavement section.
In his report Bittner wrote: “A project of this magnitude would cost roughly $1 million and would not address any drainage issues in the project area.”
He said assessments would be in the $45 to $50 per foot range.
The council didn’t vote to move forward with any project. They were still concerned about having to repair the water main under some streets first. Administrator Sue Vergin said excavation on two areas was scheduled for later in the week to check on the condition of the water main.
Councilman Cory Broich said it would be better to see those results before the council made any decision.
“I’d like to find out first what’s going on underneath,” he said. “I’d like to see what they find out when they dig.”
“That might definitely tip our hand,” said Councilman Kris Crandall. 
Councilman Chris Ritzer agreed.
“I don’t know if it pays to consider anything until we figure out what’s going on with the water main,” he said. 
The council agreed to review the results of the Project excavation and discuss options at a future council meeting.
Rental Registration
The council passed a resolution adopting a residential registration policy for rental properties. There will be no fee and no city building  inspections will be required.
“We’re just asking that people register so we’re aware that they are within the city,” said Vergin.
License Renewals
The council approved the following liquor license renewals for 2014: Clearwater Enterprises, Inc. (On Sale, Sunday); American Legion 323 (Club); Brothers and One, Inc. (Off Sale, On Sale, Sunday); LTWIG Inc. (Off Sale, On Sale, Sunday); Coborn’s (Off Sale); Clearwater Development Inc. (On Sale, Sunday).
Other Business
In other action the council:
* Approved an agreement with Stormy Landscaping & Fence for clearing snow from city sidewalks:
* Appointed Lynne Crandall to the Clearwater Planning & Zoning Commission.


COBORN’S HAS GIFT GIVING IDEAS and great food. Pictured are Ashley Peltier and Nick Miller, giving away samples at Taste of the Holidays. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER FINALISTS at last weeks Big Lake Chamber of Commerce Christmas get together were Dr. Bill Mickle of Great River Spine and Sport, Chad Lofgren of Lofgren Construction, Gillian Kleppel of Anytime Fitness, and Big Lake Chief of Police Joel Scharf for his Duck Dynasty monstrosity. Dr. Mickle was the winner.

Annual Cookie Walk at Saron Lutheran Church

THE BIG LAKE FIRE DEPT. responded to the scene of a garage fire at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Eagle Lake Road Wednesday afternoon. Officer Guy Chaffee spotted smoke rising from the building and sounded the alarm. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

WEDNESDAY BLPD Officer Guy Chaffee sounded the alarm on a garage fire. Thursday he helped carry out groceries for Eileen Harman at Coborn’s Taste of the Hoildays.