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Rosemount plans for road construction projects

Although its cold outside road construction season is just around the corner and so the city is gearing up for its 2008 Street Improvement Projects. During its Tuesday night meeting the city council approved the project and ordered plans and specifications.

The 2008 project includes surface improvements to 1.2 miles of streets. Improvements will include pavement rehabilitation, installation of sidewalk and some curb and gutter replacement. Streets included in the project are Claret Avenue, Cornell Trail, 156th Street West and Cicerone path. The project was identified in the city's 2007 to 2010 Street Improvement program.

Before it could pass , the council held a public hearing on the matter. Two residents, Kathy Klonecky and Joe Gergen, who live along the affected streets, commented on the project.

Klonecky questioned whether the street she lives on was paved right the first time and said she did not feel she should be assessed for the project if the city made a mistake when the road was initially constructed.

Gergen's shared his concerns that the sidewalk would overlap onto his property and that not all the curb and gutter in the area needed to be replaced.

After hearing the residents concerns the council approved the $1.65 million project. Funding for the project will come from three different sources. A little over $1 million will come from the city's capital improvement fund, all the sidewalk costs, which are estimated at $281,000, will be covered by the city's Sidewalk improvement fund and the $380,000 will be assessed to resident

The proposed assessment rate will be $3,140 per single family unit and $1,640 per multifamily unit. After the assessment is certified in the fall, home owners will have ten years to pay the assessment off.

Quiet zone

Along with the street improvements the council also passed a motion that authorized staff to prepare and submit an application to the Federal Rail Authority for a Quiet Zone. The establishment of a Quiet Zone would mean trains could not use horns except for in an emergency.

The city would like to establish the zone from 160th Street to County Road 73. To get the zone established the city will have to make improvements to some of the train crossings within the city. Funding for those improvements would come out of comprehensive improvement program monies.

In other business, the city council approved a motion that supports Mayor Bill Droste signing the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The agreement essentially states that as mayor Droste will advocate for state and federal action for climate protection, as well as move Rosemount toward more sustainable practices that protect the environment and save energy.

"Basically it's committing us at a policy level," said city administrator Jamie Verbrugge.

The city has made steps toward becoming more earth friendly in the recent past. The city has changed it's landscape watering schedule to every third day and has switched some facilities to more energy efficient lighting.

Dakota County College President Ron Thomas signed a similar agreement in June. Since the college has embarked on a number of aggressive green initiatives.