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Cottage Grove evaluates future capital improvement projects

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The city of Cottage Grove plans $3 million for pavement management projects in 2014, according to its long-term capital improvement plan.

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During a recent workshop, the City Council met with Finance Director Robin Roland to discuss the upcoming improvement projects the city is expected to undergo in the next several years. Because pavement management projects are mandatory, Roland said the city should expect to spend roughly $2.4 million annually to keep the roads in good condition.

Future roadway projects include a $4.9 million of reconstruction of Jamaica Avenue north of 70th Street, $3 million for continued development of Ravine Parkway, and $704,000 to extend 97th Street South to Hemmingway Avenue.

The council also continued discussion of installing street lights along Hardwood Avenue, an area council member Justin Olsen said is used frequently by families.

“When it gets late that area gets really dark,” he said. “The trail system is there and it gets busier and busier. I think people would appreciate the opportunity to take a walk with a little light to make them feel safe.”

City Engineer Jennifer Levitt said Hardwood Avenue is the only collector road in Cottage Grove with conduits installed but has no lights. Levitt said the city could look into installing lights in 2014, which is anticipated to cost around $350,000.

Other projects

Slated in 2015 is the demolition of the public pool, which was closed in August 2011 after it had worn out its more than 50-year-old infrastructure. Parks and Recreation Director Zac Dockter said the removal of the empty pool should happen sooner rather than later.

“It’s a safety hazard,” he told the council during the workshop, adding the department has had no luck leasing it. “There is no use for it and it has to go.”

The projected $20,000 demo is expected to be paid for with dedicated park improvement funds.

Future park improvements also include $400,000 for the redevelopment of Hamlet Park, $400,000 for the installation of a park at Michael’s Pointe, $350,000 for the building of an all-inclusive playground, and $30,000 for improvements at the skate park.

The council is expected to continue discussion of the projects in the preliminary CIP during future workshops and Roland said the council has discretion to move up or postpone projects.

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Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
(651) 459-4629
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