June 15, 2016

City discusses adding parking lot to 2016 street work project

By Daniel Arens

Cutting costs where possible is an important priority during large undertakings like Hazen’s 2016 street project, but the Hazen City Commission determined that incorporating one new issue into the project makes sense both practically and economically.
For several months, the city has debated the best way to deal with repairs to the parking lot at the Hazen Commerce Center. Although this project was not included within the original scope of the 2016 street project, the commission decided to look into it in May to determine whether or not it could be added, since crews and equipment would already be utilized in the city for roadwork.
Preliminary engineering estimates noted that the cost of the project if the existing asphalt was replaced by concrete would likely amount to around $92,000, without any help from the city. If city crews could remove the asphalt at the parking lot, it would likely save the city a little over $6,000.
City commissioners asked if a second estimate using asphalt rather than concrete to replace the existing material could be provided at the June 20 commission meeting. The engineers agreed, noting that they predicted a ballpark of around $50,000 in total costs for that project. However, the commission has concerns that another asphalt overlay may be only a short-term fix to the issues at the parking lot.
The city is looking at working on the portion of the parking lot running north and south along Riverbend Machinery, and the city hopes that the neighboring business may be able to provide in-kind help for the project. City Attorney Pat Donovan warned the commissioners that they should review their contracts with contractors for the overall street project to determine whether or not in-kind support would be compatible with those agreements.
Gorden Boutilier approached the commission with concerns regarding a neighboring property. He claimed the large amount of items, including trash, stocked in the neighboring yard would blow into his own yard.
“[The neighbor] treats us like a landfill,” Boutilier said.
Steve Frovarp, city planner, informed Boutilier that a letter had already been sent out from his office to the neighboring resident requiring the items to be moved by June 13. In the interim period, the neighbor had largely tidied up the items, but was still waiting for crews to come in and move them, planning for the removal to be sometime this upcoming weekend.

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