Sidewalk plans near high school amended
July 17. 2013 1:34PM
A miscalculation in the City’s 15th Street project plans has both the Dell Rapids’ school board and city officials again talking about sidewalks.
As part of the City’s street and utility improvements in the northeast part of town, sidewalks were to be placed along the east side of Garfield Avenue in front of the high school. The plans Metro Construction is working with call for the walk to be spaced from the roadway with boulevard.
“Where the sidewalks are slated to go are where power poles sit,” said Justin Weiland, Dell Rapids City Administrator.
To remedy the oversight in the plans, the City must either move the poles for an estimated $5,000 to $6,000, lay the sidewalk on existing school district property, or abut the sidewalk to the curb without leaving any boulevard.
Weiland gauged the Dell Rapids School Board at it’s meeting last week on the possibility of granting a permanent easement to allow the City to install the sidewalks east of the power poles.
“I know one of the ideas that (the school board) has proposed was to lay the sidewalk next to the curb similar to how it is … on the south side of the school building. My only hesitation toward that is snow in the winter,” Weiland said, referring to a boulevard’s role in snow removal.
But Board President Tom Morris said a sidewalk abutting the curb would make parking outside of the school during winter months less of a challenge.
“I realize that the boulevard does hold a lot of snow, and that would be the only draw back, however, … because we are so tight on parking all the way around the school, if the curb and the sidewalk were cleaned together without snow in a boulevard, that would make parking along Garfield that much better in the winter time.”
Board member Matt Weiland agreed with Morris.
“In the winter time, that (boulevard) really hampers parking because you can park right in front of the school but you have to walk to the end so you don’t have to navigate over a pile of snow,” he said.
Justin Weiland said the board’s preference is viable, but snow removal in that area needs to be a coordinated effort between both the school district and the City if a boulevard is not installed.
“We wouldn’t generally allow it in most residential districts, but because of the school district being a different use, we can make an exception to allow that,” he said.
The City Council was expected to discuss the school board’s recommendation at Monday’s meeting at City Hall.