It may be a long way off (at least 5-10 years, probably more), but Maine Prairie Township and the City of Kimball are looking at the feasibility of extending Elm Street in Kimball through to Powder Ridge (93rd Avenue). Jodi Teich, Stearns County Engineer, came to the May 7 council meeting to share what she knows about the process.
Because the road extension would be less than one mile, and only two lanes, no EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheets) would be needed – unless wetlands would be involved. (In that event, the Corps of Engineers may need to be brought in.) The county does not need to be involved necessarily. An alignment first must be narrowed down, then rights of way determined along the path as property is allotted with development. Teich advises public meetings and involvement early on. There may be bonding available, part of “The Local Route to Regional Significance” program in Minnesota.
Northern Natural Gas has proposed an “odorizing station” for the underground gas line that passes through Kimball and Watkins. The line is 25 feet under ground, and the station would require about 130’ x 80’ with right of way above ground. The location identified as best for this is a corner of the irrigation land at the corner of 83rd Ave. and County Road 44, the SE quadrant. About once a year, the gas company is required to add odorant to gas in the lines (that sulfur smell when gas leaks); trucks would need to bring it in, and two access points from the road are being requested. They plan to construct it in August this year. The law requires that the land be sold (by the city) at fair market value.
The council discussed the state of Maus Drive as a candidate for reconstruction rather than continued patch work. City engineer Randy Sabart and public works director Ed Borman participated in the discussion. The work can be done in phases, and construction likely would be in 2014 or later. The council should plan and budget for the work, and the city engineer was authorized to begin a feasibility study.
One of the city’s two water wells is in need of inspection and possible replacement of the 18-year-old pumps.
Representatives of Kim-Built were present to request the council’s approval of the final site plan. Three issues were addressed: driveway access, a rainwater drainage plan, and bulk fuel storage as it relates to the retail operation. There need to be two driveways on each end of the property, rather than a continuous one. Pervious and impervious surfaces need to be calculated for drainage. And the bulk fuel storage and retail pumps can be handled under one unified fire plan.
The council approved the layout concept, including pump layouts, parking, and access contingent on approval of applicable building permits, fire plan, and drainage plan. The city engineer requests that the plans are consolidated for review and approval, and the city attorney requested that communication among the many parties all be focused through the city clerk. Kim-Built agreed to bring all plans to the city ASAP.
The next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at city hall.