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Pequot Lakes: North Washington Avenue residents raise concerns

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After hearing from several residents who said they weren’t informed about proposed improvements to North Washington Avenue, the Pequot Lakes City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday, April 1, to award the bid for the late summer project.

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Council member Jerry Akerson voted against awarding the low base bid to DeChantal Excavating for $185,190, plus alternate bids for Type C oil bituminous mixture, four streetlights and up to two metal benches, bringing the total bid to about $243,225. The project also includes an estimated $40,500 engineering agreement fee.

Akerson said he wasn’t opposed to the plan — he likes the plan for the street that runs between Expressions Shoe Center and the Jack Pine Center in downtown Pequot Lakes. But after hearing from citizens who live on the street, he thought their issues should be resolved. He preferred delaying the bid award until next month to have time to address residents’ questions.

Mayor Nancy Adams noted the council has been talking about this street project for a year and information has been in the newspaper.

During the open forum portion of the meeting, several residents who live on Washington spoke, including Jake Soukup and Peter and Carolyn Herzog. Jon Danielowski spoke for his father-in-law, David Hallbeck, who also lives on the street. They said they were never informed about the project and they had some concerns about it, including sidewalk maintenance and the fact the street will become one way.

Council members said the goal is to enhance the area, especially when County Road 11 becomes the gateway to the city when Highway 371 is expanded east of downtown.

North Washington Avenue will become a one-way street going north. The project is slated to start in mid-August and be complete by winter. Improvements will result in a two-lane, curb-and-gutter road with parking areas along both sides. A new storm sewer system will be installed and existing sanitary sewer pipe will be replaced.

The city received four bids for the project.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her at facebook.com/PEJNancy and on Twitter @PEJ_Nancy.

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