Rush City talks cost estimates for possible 5th Street project

Decision pending on reconstructing 5th Street North in the downtown area

The Rush City Council on April 14 revisited the issue of possibly moving forward with a street improvement project on 5th Street in the downtown area in spring 2015.

City engineer Barry Peters, by memo to the city, estimated it would cost just over $2 million to reconstruct 5th Street North (from 4th Street to Field Avenue, Field to Grey Avenue, Grey to Harte Avenue and Harte to Irving Avenue), Eliot Avenue (from 4th to 5th Street) along with replacing the sanitary sewer mains, water mains and services — all of which were installed in the 1920s.

Additional funds would be needed for the railroad crossing east of the Dana Avenue parking lot. The estimated cost of a concrete crossing similar to the one on 4th Street would be $100,000, and the estimated cost of new signals and crossing arms, if needed, would be $200,000 to $250,000, Peters added.

In talking about the cost with financial consultant Kay Mattson, City Administrator Amy Mell said the city could pursue a $850,000 bond issue, while $60,000 in leftover funds from the 4th Street project also could be used for the project.

Councilor Al Hoffman said the city could save $631,000 by not reconstructing the last two blocks of the proposed project area.

The council, which anonymously agreed the road needs to be fixed at some point, further discussed the possibility of assessments on benefitting property owners. But a consensus was not reached.

The discussion concluded with the council agreeing to revisit the proposed project and directing Mell to follow up with city attorney Peter Grundhoefer about the assessment issue.


Assisted living update

In an update on the proposed assisted living project, Mell noted she recently spoke with Pete Jesh of Summit Development.

On March 31, councilors approved an escrow account for the project and required a deposit of $10,000 from the developers. Prior to the action, Mell said the committee involved in the project met with representatives from financial consultants Ehlers and Associates to discuss the financial side of the project. A future step is to complete a “gap analysis.”


In other news, the council:

• Agreed to charge a fee of $25 a day per for each farm-designated winery that wants to hold a wine tasting and sell its wine through a temporary off-sale liquor license at the county fair.

• Discussed a partial appraisal of the benefits associated with reconstructing the streets in the Brookside 1st Addition and Brookside Townhouse Addition by the golf course. No action was taken;.

• Approved, on March 31, an ordinance granting a franchise to Midcontinent Communications to construct, operate and maintain a cable system in Rush City.

Upcoming events

The RC Chamber’s Bowling Tournament is April 26 at Chucker’s Bowl and Lounge; registration starts at 1:30 p.m.

Rush City Garage Sale Day has been reset for May 10.


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