The Belle Plaine City Council has moved forward with the 2020 street improvement project that runs for six blocks of Forest Street from Grove Street to Walnut Street.

Citing clay and cast iron pipes that are around 60 years old on the stretch, City Engineer Joseph Duncan outlined what he described as the deteriorating nature of the roadway. Pictures displayed during his presentation showed patches of blacktop that have been placed over the years to maintain the road’s serviceability.

“We’ve got some years on this segment,” Duncan said.

The project will consist of street and utility improvements, including replacing the storm sewer system currently in place that was designed to handle a five-year flooding event. Water mains are also slated for replacement.

The project is priced at just over $1.5 million, 78% of which will be taken on by the city and 22% by property owners, according to Duncan’s report. The project is targeted for a spring 2020 starting date. Per city guidelines, a walkway is planned for the south side of Forest Street.

A public hearing Monday, August 5, which was not the final opportunity for the public to comment on the project, drew no apparent criticism of the project. The project now enters a survey and design phase before entering the four-week bidding phase.

The North Sanitary Interceptor Extension project taking place north of Main Street near Old Highway 169 and extending eastward under Highway 169 is largely complete, and crews have begun backfilling.

Following  a brief conversation, the city council moved to add a 20-foot concrete extension to an ongoing project to install athletic courts to Century Park, for a total of $5,000.

Councilman Ben Stier suggested the addition, citing the fact that the current plot could not facilitate two pickle ball courts.

Some discussion, which highlighted the fact that the additional concrete will also need to be painted and fenced, ended in a 4-1 council vote in favor of the measure, with Councilman Cary Coop dissenting.

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