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Backus: Council talks about street project payment

The Backus City Council received an award for its 2018 airport improvement project.

Jeff Ledin, of Short, Elliott, Hendrickson engineering firm, presented the Backus City Council with a list of items he suggests should be done before the city issues final payment on a 2018 street project.

The council had some qualms with the quality of work done during the project, at first due to uneven seams in the roadways, and later standing water on intersections that could lead to ice development and potholes.

Ledin identified three intersections on Wood Street that accumulate standing water. Ledin recommended the city not issue the remaining $25,000 payment until this issue is resolved.

Ledin also recommended requesting the contractor seal a section of the road that had been milled to resolve the previous rough seams.

In other business Monday, May 6, the council:

• Considered options for seeking input on road work on Point Road. The council decided to send a newsletter to concerned residents asking for input, and informing them of the cost of a feasibility study for road work.

• Learned Lakes Gas would like to charge the city rental fees for use of propane tanks under certain circumstances. The council decided to ask for time to review its options and in the meantime look at contract options with other gas service companies as well.

• Agreed to purchase trash cans for the city park with locked on lids with small openings to deter people from using the trash cans as receptacles for home waste. The city will also look into trash cans for Main Street.

• Learned the municipal airport received state and federal accolades for its recent airport improvement project.

• Asked for quotes for installation of a dual fuel furnace at the municipal airport as well as thermostats that issue text message alerts.

• Expressed interest in seeking ways in which the sheriff's department could begin enforcing city ordinances.

• Agreed to sign a 20-year agreement with the Department of Natural Resources for maintenance and access to the landing at Rocky Dock. Once the agreement is signed, the DNR will also likely perform necessary repairs to the loading ramp.

• Learned the fire department served 758 people at the annual smelt fry and ran out of both smelt and potato salad.

• Discussed solutions to prevent damage to a powerline going to the city chambers and firehall. The guidewire to the building has been struck at least twice in the past. If it happens again, the power to the building could be severed. The council discussed guards that could be installed.

• Discussed future ordinance changes allowing residents to avoid water fees under certain circumstances.

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