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East Grand Forks City Council members seek further evaluation of Fourth Street Northeast improvements

After listening to comments from property owners, council members decided more needs to be considered for the proposed street and utility improvements on Fourth Street Northeast.

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East Grand Forks City Hall. Herald file photo.
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EAST GRAND FORKS – City Council members heard comments from East Grand Forks property owners regarding proposed street and utility improvements on Fourth Street Northeast during a public hearing held during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The project is proposed to consist of storm sewer improvements and street reconstruction of Fourth Street Northeast, starting at Fifth Avenue Northeast and going over to the American Crystal Sugar Company property line on Eighth Avenue Northeast.

A report of feasibility has been completed and has determined the work needed and the scope of the project. City Engineer Steve Emery said the existing concrete street is about 46 years old and is in poor condition, especially at the eastern end. Emery said the existing storm sewer, which was put in at the same time as the street, also is in need of repair.

The current scope of the project is to completely remove and replace the existing concrete street, driveways and sidewalks; replace storm sewer leads and catch basins; and put in a new sidewalk along the north side of Fourth Street Northeast, which would be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The total estimated cost of the project is $892,503 and the estimated assessments to property owners is $792,612. Funding for the project also would come from Enterprise Funds.

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While the scope currently entails complete reconstruction of the street, property owners — including Randy Boushey, the president of A&L Potato Co. Inc. — would like to see more evaluation on the street. Boushey, for instance, said the entire street doesn’t need repairs. He believes the most repairs are needed on the eastern end of the street and the rest of the street could use minor work, such as patching, for the time being.

“From A&L Potato’s perspective, I think it’s premature,” Boushey said. “There is definitely some wear on the roads. I’m not questioning it, but it’s not a driving hazard.”

Council members Tim Johnson, Brian Larson and Mark Olstad said they would like to see the street evaluated further to see which spots need the most repairs, rather than a complete reconstruction.

“Fifty percent of the property owners have said we don’t want to pay for this whole road, so I hear that loud and clear,” Larson said.

Ultimately, the council approved ordering preparation of plans and specifications for the street and utility improvements, but also for Emery to further look into the extent of repairs for the street.

In other council news Tuesday, council members approved authorizing City Administrator David Murphy to distribute the finalized request for proposals to identified consultants. The chosen consultant will assist with the next steps in the intercity bridge project.

Murphy will send the RFP to five firms and the deadline for the firms to submit proposals is June 30. After that, a committee will review the proposals and pick the consultant.

Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 719-235-8640 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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