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Summer will be light on road work headaches

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news Farmington, 55024

Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

There's a long-standing joke around the state - you know, that one about Minnesota's two seasons being winter and road construction? Well, Farmington must be in for a treat this year, because there won't be road construction to worry about.

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Outside of a couple of day projects to put down the final layer of asphalt on the streets that were rebuilt as part of last summer's Walnut Street reconstruction, there are no new road construction projects on the books in Farmington this year.

None. Anywhere. North or south, east or west.

"It's probably a bit out of the ordinary, based on the past recent history of what we have done," said city engineer Kevin Schorzman. "Probably the most unusual thing is that we're not going to do the seal coating this year."

At its Dec. 6 meeting, the Farmington City Council decided to hold off on the city's seal-coating program for one year in order to buy time to figure out how to fund the project in the future. On Monday, they opted to levy an additional amount every year to cover the cost of seal coating.

With a depleted road and bridge fund, council members were reluctant to consider any new road construction projects last year, Schorzman said. In fact, he had asked council to consider capital improvement projects for the next 10 years, but council members chose not to address any of those needs in 2011.

Schorzman thought perhaps council members would address road needs at this week's retreat. If they discuss road issues, Schorzman thought the topic would be included in an upcoming council workshop with staff.

"It will be important for us to get back together and talk about the CIP," Schorzman said. "Now we have to take their pulse and see where they sit. It's just a matter of deciding what to do and how to fund it, and to do so in a way that's in the best interest of the community."

While won't be any major road construction projects in Farmington - with the exception of the Walnut Street overlay, which will only take a couple of days and will be done by the end of June - Dakota County does have a project scheduled for the section of County Road 50 between Highway 3 and Hampton.

"There's just that minor inconvenience of finishing up with that Walnut Street project. Other than that, there are no inconveniences I can take credit for," Schorzman said.

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