Tricounty News

City of Kimball proceeds with plans for street, water, sewer improvements

Just over a dozen Kimball residents and business owners attended the Monday, Aug. 29, special city council meeting in Kimball. The meeting was a public hearing on planned street, water and sewer repairs in the city, plans that have been in the works since February 2009.

SEH engineer Randy Sabart gave a PowerPoint presentation showing the current state of streets and drainage in the City of Kimball, and then explained what improvements are being proposed. He also explained that the funding is primarily from a USDA-RUS (Rural Development) loan intended for water and sewer improvements; not all of the project qualifies for USDA funding.

The city streets included in the project are Spruce Ave., Elm St.,

Oak St., Cherry St., and Hazel Ave. west of Elm St. Also included are three alleys. Water mains (originally installed 1933-35) and sewer lines (from 1955) will be replaced in these streets and alleys, and the street surfaces, sidewalks, curb and gutter above the pipes will be replaced. (Street repairs in other areas would not be eligible for USDA funding, and would be totally at city and taxpayer expense.) Streets will generally remain the same width they are now; widening streets also would be ineligible for the USDA program.

The Kimball water tower is in dire need of re-painting, inside and out. The tower was purchased, pre-owned, in 1970. Its paint coating system includes lead (which must be contained), and it has deteriorated on the inside and ouside.

The water treatment plant, located in Willow Creek Park, needs work as well. There are paint issues, like the water tower, and the filter tank (that removes iron from the water) has developed a leak. The plant will be sandblasted and repainted after steel repairs are completed.

The city is able to take advantage of financial assistance (it qualifies for this based on its current indebtedness), with a low-interest loan available, and eligibility for a grant above and beyond the loan amount.

The projected cost of this project is $2,786,400, of which $414,000 is not eligible for USDA funding. The city has been advised to refinance two of its existing bonds (totalling just over $2 million) within the USDA loan, at a lower interest rate of 3.75 percent or less.

The USDA loan would be $3,537,000; a USDA grant is available for up to $854,000 (after all the loan funds are utilized); and $414,000 does not fall within the USDA guidelines for funding.

After questions from the public were answered, the council voted unanimously to proceed with the planned improvements. SEH will now begin designing the project for submission to USDA this fall for approval by Spring. It is hoped the project can be bid in April or earlier, and construction is scheduled for summer 2012 into the fall, with final touches to be completed in 2013.

According to the preliminary projections, 110 properties will be affected by construction and most will be assessed for 25 percent of the repair costs, from $162 at the lowest up to $13,000 at the highest; the city will pay the 75 percent balance. The city office has USDA homeowner loan and senior/disability grant applications.