Council hears year-end street report

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

LE MARS — Scott Kneip, Le Mars street supervisor, presented his 2018 annual report under the title, “One Year of Progress,” at the March 5 city council meeting.

“First of all, I want to thank my guys for the street department’s part of the snow removal, and also public facilities. It takes all of us to get that done, so I want to thank them for the long hours they put in and the early hours. I think we’ve been doing a good job,” Kneip said.

Kneip indicated his report was a compilation of the quarterly reports submitted during the year.

Snow and ice removal were a priority the first part of the year, with 147.5 hours of salting, snow removal and cleaning snow piles up during the first quarter of 2018. The report continued March and April added 86 hours of snow removal and salting.

“One thing we focused on the streets are the potholes,” Kneip said. “We did focus on the continuous every year potholes that came up.”

His report indicated the department removed the bad spots and replaced them with new concrete. Numberwise, 908 potholes were filled in March; 255 in April; 67 in June; and 24 later in the year.

Kneip said his department did a lot of work on the CBPII projects in 2018, including the campground and the Olson Cultural Event Center.

That led to questions about the progress at the Le Mars Municipal Park Campground.

“We have a lot of work to do there yet,” Kneip said.

Kneip indicated he and City Administrator Jason Vacura wanted to get through the budget process and then meet with committee members to let them know what work still needs to be done.

“From what we were told earlier, it’s changing a little bit,” Kneip said.

Work to be done includes putting in a drain tile, bringing in black soil and seeding grass, and putting in the docks.

Council member Clark Goodchild asked how soon it will be functional, mentioning the number of events to be held in the city this summer and fall.

“On the (cement) pads, we’ve gone back and forth, whether it be pad for the entire camper or enough of a pad to put a picnic table on so when they come out of their camper, they step on concrete,” Kneip said.

As of now, crushed rock is being used as the pads.

Vacura said it continues to be a work in progress.

“You will not have a finished project this year,” Vacura added.

As far as the Olson Cultural Event Center, Kneip’s staff cut concrete on what was used as a parking lot, removed the concrete, prepared the area for new seating, removed old crushings under the concrete and hauled in new clay and black dirt.

Funding for those projects comes from allocated CBPII dollars.

Street department personnel continue to cut down trees in town, as well as cutting volunteer trees from city property.

Pedestrian crossing equipment was upgraded at Third Avenue and 12th Street Southwest by the school, and Third Avenue and 12th Street Southeast by the swimming pool. New brighter flashing lights/equipment and a push button service was activated.

Kneip also provided council members with a report on a new camera system at the intersection of Iowa Highway 3 and U.S. Highway 75.

The GRIDSMART camera and software was installed in June, and is a 4-way camera that monitors all vehicles at the intersection and in approximately a one-block radius from the intersection.

Kneip shared in July 2018, 512,577 vehicles went through the intersection.

Those numbers are also broken down for northbound and southbound, as well as through, right turn and left turn traffic and u-turns.

“U-turns are driveways within sight of a block, for example, a turn to Casey’s. All four corners have driveways to businesses, so the camera tracks the vehicle and calls that a u-turn,” Kneip explained.

Other month counts presented were: August 477,853; September, software malfunction, no data; October 462,124; November 426,657; December 436,808; and January 406,922.

Kneip said he had shared the information with local DOT officials, as the city has been working with DOT to redo the Hwy. 3 intersections.

The traffic lights at the corner of Business 75 South and Fourth Street South also has a GRIDMARK camera but no software.

Council members asked about cameras for the corner of Business 75 South and Sixth Avenue South, commonly called the Dairy Queen corner.

Kneip said a new camera system for that intersection could cost $16,000.

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