Laurel City Council reviews resolutions, recycling

By 
Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Jaycee Hall at Riverside Park shows evidence of the cold weather Wednesday morning when this photo was shot. The Laurel City Council removed an agenda item for setting rental fees and charges for the hall from Tuesday’s workshop meeting. Outlook photo by Chris McConnell

Jaycee Hall at Riverside Park shows evidence of the cold weather Wednesday morning when this photo was shot. The Laurel City Council removed an agenda item for setting rental fees and charges for the hall from Tuesday’s workshop meeting. Outlook photo by Chris McConnell

After a presentation by Laurel City Planner Nick Altonaga on the proposed Soda Station kiosk at 720 1st Avenue, he and business partners Annie Larsen and Cassie Barton fielded a few questions from councilors regarding traffic at the site behind Domino’s Pizza and the durability of the temporary kiosk during Tuesday evening’s workshop meeting. The meeting was held via Zoom, although next week’s regular business meeting will be in council chambers on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a public hearing at that meeting on the resolution to approve the conditional use of the property for the operation of Soda Station. One of the conditions specified by the Planning Board is for the business to construct a permanent structure at the site within 12 months. Prior to that, Soda Station will be operated from a temporary kiosk.

Public Works Director Kurt Markegard discussed a resolution selecting RDO Equipment as the successful bidder for the city’s purchase of a backhoe needed for maintenance of the city’s sewer and water systems. “One of the things we were looking at was a backhoe that can dig down deeper,” he said.

Markegard also led the discussion on a resolution approving a task order between the city and KLJ Engineering Inc. authorizing service for the 2021 pavement maintenance project. Mayor Tom Nelson noted the city has been more aggressive in maintaining and repairing streets than past administrations. Matt Smith of KLJ told councilors they will be targeting streets rated 7 on their deterioration metric. Markegard said that depending on oil prices KLJ may be able to repair more or fewer streets. Smith said opening bids in March or April will lock in prices and the sooner that is done, the better. The work will probably begin in June, he said.

Markegard also discussed a resolution which would approve a task order for KLJ to authorize the firm to prepare a preliminary engi neering report on the city’s water system. “The biggest part of this task order is updating our system with what we’ve done since our last PER,” Markegard said. The updated PER will re-prioritize the city’s needs and is necessary to apply for state grants.

The last item under executive review was a resolution to create fees and charges for the use of Riverside Park. Mayor Nelson pulled that item from the agenda, but said it would be back soon. He said that after a discussion with Councilor Scot Stokes, chair of the Parks Board, he agreed to bring the matter up later.

Under council issues, a discussion ensued regarding having electronic recycling bins at the city’s container site. Markegard said he received a letter regarding the recycling and spoke to the city attorney regarding it. The only issues the attorney flagged were insurance and getting other bids.

“We take electronics, batteries and ink and toner cartridges,” said Anthony Overcast, who made the proposal. He said he has the insurance coverage necessary and all the licenses needed to operate the recycling project. The mayor said this item will come up again as they get closer to having an agreement with Overcast.

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Monday, March 8, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, March 8, 2021
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