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.


SUPERHEROES: WITH GREAT POWER COMES ORDINARY RESPONSIBILITY is the BLHS one-act play this year. Cast and crew includes faculty advisor Ryan Purdy, Shiloh Zoccoli, Baylee Jacobs, Laicole Dobie, Emily Hanson, Autumn Clyde, Justina Zou, Jamie Schwartz, Rick Holbrook, Karissa Bechtold, Alexander Hugh Prom, Hannah Schoening, Heather Yanta, Emma Thompson, Jessica Stenberg, Kaylee Wagner, Aliyah Agyekum, Savannah Mitchell, John Freund, Zarae Jackson, and Aaron Matushenko. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

CITY LEADERSHIP. Maddie Zinken will represent the BLHS Student Council as liaison to the Big Lake City Council. She will also represent Big Lake and the Big Lake Ambassador Program at the Aquatennial in Minneapolis as one of 42 contestants with a shot at being named Queen of the Lakes. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

BIG LAKE CITY COUNCIL recognized Public Works employee John Moshier, retiring after 34 years of service. From the left are City Council Member Seth Hansen, John Moshier Council Member Duane Langsdorf, Mayor Raeanne Danielowski, Council Member Nick Christenson, Council Member Mike Wallen and Public Works Director Mike Goebel. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

HISTORIC FIND. SCSU graduate student Jeff Williams is shown with copies of the Red Wing Republican Eagle newspaper that detail a week's worth of the fighting on Iwo Jima in 1945. Williams said he found the historic treasure at a rummage sale and paid $20 for the five newspapers. (Photos by David Hannula.)