Damaged Roads to be Repaired

Valley City City Commission members met Monday during a special meeting to approve a perpetual restrictive covenant, restricting the city from building any structure other than for flood control on its acquired properties. They also approved a street reconstruction project on the streets surrounding the water treatment plant.

In accordance with the city’s contract with the State Water Commission, which provided $3 million in funding for the flood buyout program, the City of Valley City must create a perpetual restrictive covenant, which prohibits the city from building any type of construction or structure other than what would be necessary for flood control, permitted infrastructure, paved surfaces and bridges on properties acquired through the city’s flood buyout program.

The covenant only applies to property the city presently owns, which is about one third of the properties slated for buyout. A new covenant will need to be enacted once the city acquires more properties.

After some discussion, commissioners voted to approve $100,000 for pavement reconstruction on Fourth Avenue Northeast, between Sixth and Ninth Street Northeast, and Eight Street Northeast, between Third and Fourth Avenue Northeast. These are the roads that surround the water treatment center.

The roads, which were already partially damaged, were damaged further as a result of the 18-month construction project at the plant. Swanberg Construction, which was the prime contractor of the water treatment center project, has offered to pay $50,000 of the damage to the roads, and the city will need to find a way to fund the rest.

City officials discussed the possibility of asking the state to help fund the project because state decisions forced the Sheyenne River, the main drinking source for Valley City residents, to receive Devils Lake water, which the previous water treatment plant could not effectively treat. The water treatment plant was funded almost entirely at a state level.

“We need to keep in mind that that plant is not our doing really,” Mayor Bob Werkhoven said. “We didn’t cause that what’s happening there.”

City Commissioner Madeline Luke echoed Werkhoven’s statements saying, “I think it is worth a try at least to make them aware of the fact that they did cause some of this damage, and they said that they’d take care of it.”

Contrarily, City Commissioners Mary Lee Nielson and Matt Pedersen argued that they’d rather fund this project locally so that Valley City has a better chance or receiving higher amounts of state funds in the future.
The roads were built in 1977 with the city requirement of four inches of asphalt, but because there wasn’t much maintenance done since then, the road has essentially degraded, said Erik Gilbertson from city engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson.

The commission spent the remainder of the meeting discussing the first draft of the 2013 budget. Changes to the budget included an increase in salary to some city employees, groundskeeping on newly-acquired flood buyout properties and the omission of maintenance to the City Auditorium, which the city plans to sell.

City officials will continue to discuss the budget this week.