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Council doubles down on street repairs

The City Council of Webster City is shown at its regularly-scheduled meeting Monday evening. Councilwoman Megan McFarland was not present for the meeting.

For some time now the City Council of Webster City has looked for every opportunity to catch up on repairs to overdue repairs to the city’s streets.

To that end, on Monday the council gave the green light for $858,016.01 in repairs as part of the city’s hot melt asphalt (HMA) street improvements project for fiscal year 2025.

In January 2021, the city’s street repair consultant — Snyder & Associates of Ankeny — completed a pavement management report for Webster City. It rated the city’s streets in five categories based on their pavement condition index (PCI). Segments of five streets with a poor PCI rating are now in line for repairs this summer.

Repairs to such streets include removal and replacement of the road’s core in locations where the sub-base has deteriorated. Cores, a sample of pavement 4 to 6 inches in diameter, are extracted from the street and the condition of the underlying pavement is examined.

The city’s Street Department Superintendent Brandon Bahrenfuss stressed citizens should not expect “complete replacement of curbs and gutters in this project.” Instead, he said, “this is a mill and fill operation to lay down a new, smoother roadway.

“We’ll typically lay a 3-inch asphalt overlay and make minor curb and gutter repairs and replacements.”

Replacement of subsurface drainage fixtures, a costly and labor-intensive process, is not included in these programs. Bahrenfuss, who said Monday he felt contractors had submitted “really great bids” for the project, noted, “the city has had good experience with this approach to street repair.”

The streets that will receive the upgrades this summer include:

. Water Street from Funk to Prospect;

. Boone Street from Grove to Des Moines;

. East Street 300 feet north of Lucas Street to Des Moines (bordering the west side of Nokomis Park);

. The vicinity of Bell Avenue and High Street;

. Third Street from Grove to Broadway.

The city has designated four more street segments it refers to as “bid alternatives.” These are:

. Water Street from Willson Avenue to Seneca;

. Nokomis Park parking lot;

. Boone Street from Des Moines Street to Willson Avenue;

. Buxton Drive from Bell Avenue to the city limits.

The approved budget is expected to cover all nine projects, which Bahrenfuss said, “will give us a shot in the arm as far as street repairs this summer goes.” All repairs should be finished by mid-October.

Looking ahead to next year’s street repairs, the council approved amendment No. 33 with Snyder & Associates for professional services in the Beach Street Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) project. PCC is a mixture of cement and fine and coarse aggregates. Although it doesn’t have reinforcing materials in the concrete, it’s considered a “rigid pavement” material.

The project will consist of a series of repairs — some large, others smaller — that address spalling, scaling, joint deterioration, and other defects that develop in the roadway over time.

Locations of the repairs have been identified and include: (from south to north along Beach Street.)

. Near the corner of Beach & Ohio;

. At and near the corner of Beach & Locust;

. At the corner of Beach and Grand;

. Near the corner of Beach & Mary Lane;

. Near the corner of Beach & Meadow Lane;

. At and near the corner of Beach & Walnut;

. At and near the corner of Beach & Elm;

. At and near the corner of Beach & Water;

. On Beach Street between Water & Bank;

. At and near the corner of Beach & Bank;

. At and near the corner of Beach & Division;

. On Beach Street between Division & First;

. At the corner of Beach & First.

The project is estimated to cost $198,850, all of which will go to pay for professional fees to manage the project. Because Beach Street currently lacks ADA ramps at street corners, the project qualifies for federal funding in the form of Community Development Block Grants. In such projects, which, by definition, support activities to build stronger, more resilient communities, the federal government pays 80% of the project cost. Work is expected to be complete by the end of October 2025.

In other action, the City Council:

. Passed a resolution approving sale of four building lots in Brewer Creek Estates, 6th Addition, to Samann L.C. The developer must complete new homes on the lots within 18 months of closing, and pay the full price for the lots when the new homes are sold.

. Passed a resolution closing Superior Street between East and West Twin Parks from 5 to 7 p.m. August 6 to celebrate National Night Out. The purpose of National Night Out, celebrated across the country, is to increase communication and understanding between police departments and the citizenry. The event is sponsored by the Webster City Police Department.

. Renewed cigarette/tobacco/nicotine and vapor permits for 11 Webster City retailers including Fareway and Hy-Vee, all seven convenience stores, Dollar General and, new this year, Tan-N-Fold.

. Approved a short-term equipment loan with Availa Bank, Webster City, for $221,860 for a new police vehicle, and support equipment for the Webster City Police Department, Fire Department and Street Department including digital pagers, radios, an in-car camera and Toughbooks laptop computer for the Police Department. Toughbooks are rugged computers made by Panasonic designed to withstand harsh environments and conditions. Also included is a new Eventide call recorder, a high-reliability telephone call recording device also for the Police Department. The Street Department will get new crack sealer and painting machines.

. Agreed to buy a new lime slaker for the city’s water softener plant. Lime slakers use slaked (ie. hydrated) lime to bring down the acidic level of drinking water. Lower levels of acid in water has been shown to be healthier, and it reduces wear and tear on water treatment equipment at the plant, and is easier on fixtures in homes, including water softeners, sinks, toilets and dishwashers. The present lime slaker was purchased in 2014. It has reached the end of its service life and must now be replaced. A budget not exceeding $150,000 has been provided to buy the new slaker, which is made in Zeeland, Michigan.

. Approved a change order requested by Peterson Construction in the amount of $13,343.50. The extra funds are necessary to pay for placement of water and storm sewer lines under Bank Street near the new splash pad in East Twin Park. Work on the splash pad has been slowed by excessive rain this spring, but should now resume shortly.

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