Roundabout delayed; senior fees could increase in Lakeville
Delaying roundabout construction and increasing Senior Center fees were among the topics the Lakeville City Council discussed at its April 23 work session.
The council does not take official action at work sessions, but the meetings are often the incubator for ideas voted on at regular meetings.
Interim City Engineer Zachary Johnson and Public Works Director Chris Petree recommended that the city delay construction of a roundabout at 205th Street and Kenrick Avenue.
This would allow for potentially more favorable bids in spring 2013, because that would be at the start of the construction season, Johnson said.
Consultant SRF is about 95 percent complete with the roundabout’s plans.
The $630,000 project would take six to eight weeks to complete, following a three to four week bidding process, Johnson said.
The construction cost would be about $500,000, with the balance going toward engineering and other costs.
The city’s 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan budgeted for a $375,000 project, but the costs increased because of several significant design changes and safety improvements, Johnson said.
Walmart, which will be located down the street and across Interstate 35, has committed $75,000 in an escrow toward the project. To use the money, the city needs to complete the project by 2014, Johnson said.
The remaining $555,000 would come from Street Reconstruction Bonds, which would be repaid with property tax levies of about $61,000 per year for 10 years, Johnson said.
The more favorable bidding season could drive down the tax levy because of the reduced cost of the project, he added.
Senior Center fees
Senior Center rates are set to double, generating between $18,000 and $22,000 annually in revenue.
Below are the current rates with the proposed increase in parentheses:
• Resident single member: $9 a year ($18);
• Resident couple: $15 ($34);
• Non-resident single: $15; ($30). There is no special for non-resident couples.
Of the about 1,110 Lakeville Senior Center members, 60 percent are residents.
Part of the reasoning behind the rate increase is the improved amenities at the Heritage Center, which will open this fall, Parks and Recreation Director Steve Michaud said.
Mayor Mark Bellows said the increase is still rather low.
“When I tell people senior fees are $9,” he said, “they say ‘a month?’ ”
Discussion began about a tiered system. Given that working people in their 50s can use the center’s hundreds of offerings, the mayor said, “We can justify the higher dues.”
The Senior Center recently introduced a punch card system, in which historically free programs now carry a surcharge.
Free programs now require a single punch, valued at 50 cents, Michaud said.
Council members in general were not enthused by the system.
“We can give it a go, but if it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed,” Council Member Kerrin Swecker said.
It’s nearly game over for an early Reagan-era ordinance that regulated devices such as pinball machines and other arcade amusements.
It was a trend back then to require places with vending and amusement devices to pay a license fee for permits to operate such devices.
This was an era before ubiquitous personal video game systems, and so the ordinance (based on a 1970s state statute) was designed to prevent potential nuisances associated with the devices at places such as bowling alleys, movie theaters and bars.
Revenue is marginal, topping out at about $3,000 a year from renewals, associate planner Allyn Kuennen said.
In the 30 years since its passage, there have been no cases of issues or nuisances associated with the amusement devices, Kuennen said. He recommended eliminating the regulation effective January 2013.
Council Member Colleen LaBeau lauded the recommendation, saying that it will make “doing business easier in Lakeville.”