SHERBURN - Sherburn City Council approved four street projects Monday. They include narrowing of the streets involved to 36 feet, improvements to water mains, addition of storm sewers, and curb and gutter.
Greg Mitchell of Bolton & Menk discussed the specifics of each project with the council.
Three of the roads - North Prairie Street, North Elm Street and Third Street - are in the northwest corner of the city, while the fourth - South Street - is in the southeast corner and will only have an upgraded water main.
North Prairie Street will be redone from First Street to Fifth Street; North Elm will be upgraded from First Street to Third Street; and Third Street will be redone from County Road 13 to Prairie Street.
When asked about the narrowing of the streets, Mitchell reported that has been the trend.
"Currently, Prairie Street is at 44 feet, South Main Street is at 40 feet and that was redone in 2000-2001," he said. "But you look at the newer roads, Fox Lake Avenue is 36 feet, Ringer Drive is 34 feet."
Another point discussed was the removal of sidewalks on Prairie Street and not replacing them except from adjoining streets.
"The sidewalks from north to south would be eliminated," Mitchell said.
"We did have one concerned parent contact us about the street narrowing and noted it was a busy road during the school year and that it was taking away a safe place to walk," said Sherburn Mayor Dorothy Behne.
The current sidewalks are in poor condition, and replacing them would add $50,000 to the project, with the cost assessed back to homeowners.
"Another indicator is that in the winter, on the south end, the sidewalks are not shoveled, so they are not being used," Mitchell said.
Elm Street, currently gravel, will be upgraded to a 36-foot road with water mains, curb and gutter and storm sewers.
With unanimous approval of the projects, advertisements for bids will be released later this week, with a bid opening slated for May 2. The council hopes to accept a bid May 5, with work to begin as soon as possible and to be finished by the end of October.
In other business, the council hosted an open book meeting with the Martin County Assessor's Office.
Assessor Dan Whitman and Deb Eversman of his office discussed property values in Sherburn, with 10 sales made in the area in 2013 that fell in line with the state's value alignment.
Sherburn's land value has fallen from $50 per front foot to $30 per front foot, which Eversman reported is in line with other small communities in Martin County.