MANKATO — If bids for Mankato’s other street repairs come in low enough, Ramsey Street may get rebuilt this summer, but Locust Street repairs will have to wait until 2014, the City Council decided Monday.
Both streets were initially on the city’s list for repairs this year, but the City Council voted 4-3 on Jan. 28 to instead add more taxpayer money to a Lime Township street and utility project. That decision lowered the assessments for Lime Township residents awaiting annexation into the city, but the consequences of that decision ended up on yesterday’s agenda.
As a result, neither project has been budgeted, but City Manager Pat Hentges is confident that Ramsey Street could get repaired this year.
Though the estimated cost to repair Ramsey Street is only about 9 percent less than the $395,000 estimate for the Locust Street project, it has a much better chance of sneaking into this summer’s schedule. That’s because its overall taxpayer contribution is only about $65,000, about 40 percent as much as the Locust Street project.
And it’s the taxpayer contribution that matters at this point — not the utility fund contributions and not the assessments.
The public costs for Locust Street are relatively higher in part because the street is wider and takes up a relatively higher part of the project’s costs. It is street costs, not utility costs, that require the largest support from property taxes. The utility upgrades are paid for from utility funds, which are supported by sewer and water bills.
The city would like to widen Ramsey Street, a one-block street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, from 24.5 feet to 32 feet.
Ramsey Street resident Gretchen Clyde told the council she would welcome a wider street.
“I can’t tell you how many times my car has been clipped because of the traffic, with it being so narrow,” she said.
There’s a hitch to the hopes for a wider street: The city hasn’t yet acquired the rights to get the extra seven feet or so. It is negotiating a deal with Colonial Square Apartments.
The city budgeted $4.5 million for the taxpayer share of road projects this year, and Hentges said it was likely that $65,000 — about 1.4 percent of that total — could be found.
Less than a half-mile away, across Glenwood Avenue and on the bluff behind Old Main Village, the residents of Locust Street will have to wait another year. Their taxpayer share is about $164,000.
It would, however, be at the top of the list for next year’s road projects.