Council approves plans for street reconstruction

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council unanimously approved plans for street reconstruction at its Monday meeting.

Doug Parrott of Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.), the city’s engineering firm, presented the plan, which includes portions of six streets and an alley to be done this summer. The streets are Second Avenue SW, First Avenue SW, First Street SW, Second Street SW, Third Street SW and Fourth Street SW. The alley is the one between Main Street and First Street SW from First Avenue SW to Central Avenue S.

Improvements to the streets include construction of the sanitary sewer and services, water main, curb and gutter, sidewalks and other items.

The plan also includes work to be done on the street between the New Prague Golf Club and the Park Ballroom. The work includes removal of the island between the ballroom and the softball fields at Memorial Park. Parrott said the work would also include reconstructing the parking area in front of the New Prague American Legion Club.

The estimated cost of the entire street project is $2.5 million.

Mayor Craig S. Sindelar said the council agreed that the street work between the Golf Club and the Park Ballroom is needed, although there were concerns. Among them, was the remodeling project at the Golf Club and the possible assessment costs for the street work.

The council’s consensus was that the street work and the parking lot be part of the project as alternate bids.

Parrott said that as part of the project they have had to create an alternate access for semi-trucks going to ConAgra, Inc.

John Schumacher, who lives along Second Avenue, said the corner at Second Avenue and Main Street isn’t big enough for the trucks, as the vehicles have to make wide turns to make the corner. He felt it should be addressed now.

Parrott said they would have to talk to the Minnesota Department of Transportation since Main Street is part of Highways 13/19. He would look into the intersection to see what could be done.

The council unanimously approved the plans and authorized the advertising of bids for the plans.

Planning Commission matters

The council unanimously approved three items from the New Prague Planning and Zoning Commission.

The items included a conditional use permit to allow nine condominium units be built in the former Schumacher Hotel & Restaurant.

Schumacher proposed the building at 212 West Main St. be converted into condominiums. He owned and operated the hotel and restaurant until its closing the end of May, 2005.

Councilmember Kay Wilcox felt it was the best use of the building.

The second item was to amend the conditional use permit for the building at the corner of First Street NE and Chalupsky Avenue NE. The amendment will allow for a childcare center in the building.

Rick Kratochvil owns the structure, which is a mixed-use building. The center would be located on the west side of the building and have an outside play area.

The owner of the center is Chatel Dacas, who is proposing to name it Heaven Sent Childcare Center.

The third item was a conditional use permit to allow a water tower in the New Prague Business Park 7th Addition.

The tower would be approximately 165 feet in height and hold 500,000 gallons of water. While it is in the business park, it abuts Raven Stream Village.

Realignment hearing set

The council unanimously approved that a public hearing be held at its next meeting on January 23. The hearing is to receive public input on the realignment of Scott County Road 15 east of New Prague.

The city has been working with the counties of Scott and Le Sueur to determine a north/south corridor in that area.

A final step in the planning process is to have the council, county boards and townships in the area officially adopt the recommended alignments and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding regarding each entity’s role and responsibilities.

Other agenda items

The council unanimously approved its organizational matters for 2006, with the council members to remain on the same commissions and boards where they currently serve.

Other appointments were made, including The New Prague Times as the official newspaper of the city.

The council adopted the official fee schedule for the city, which includes building permits, licenses and other items. It was approved 3-2 with council members Jim Kratochvil and Rob Babione casting the dissenting votes. Kratochvil felt some of the building fees were redundant and Babione felt the fee for the city’s on-sale liquor license was too high compared to other licenses.

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