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City sets construction priorities

Though no new buildings are projected in Farmington's five-year future, plenty of road construction is. That means getting around the community will become easier. And, if all goes as planned, a few stoplights might come along the way.

On Dec. 15, the Farmington City Council approved its 2009-2013 Capital Improvement Plan, a document that outlines some of the larger building, public works and parks projects to be funded in the next five years.

The plan identifies spending priorities for each year. Some of those priorities -- like signals at Elk River Trail and Pilot Knob Road, 195th Street and Pilot Knob Road or 190th Street and Pilot Knob Road -- have been requested by residents and endorsed by the city. Some projects, like the annual sealcoat project, are funded by the city every year. And others, like the construction of County Road 74 west to meet Co. Rd. 31/Pilot Knob, are planned to meet the community's needs a few years down the road.

There is $150,000 allocated for each of the three stoplights on Pilot Knob Road in 2009. One, more or none of those lights could be installed next year, depending on whether Dakota County chooses to participate in the construction. But if the county indicates it would support these types of traffic controls at any of those intersections, the city will have funding set aside to support the construction.

If the stoplights are not added next year, the funding remains in the city's coffers for another time and another project.

In addition to the stoplights, 2009 CIP items include $750,000 for intersection improvements at Co. Rd. 50 and Flagstaff Avenue; $250,000 for the Fourth Street storm sewer extension and $560,000 for construction of the Fifth Street trunk sewer extension; and $817,000 for the Denmark Avenue trunk sanitary sewer extension.

A street reconstruction expected to cost about $1.4 million is planned along East Walnut Street in 2010, as well as a $3.4 million reconstruction project in the Westview Acres neighborhood. In 2011, Willow and Linden streets are scheduled for reconstruction, at a cost of $2 million, and a $2.5 million ground water reservoir project is planned, as well.

In 2012, Co. Rd. 31, Co. Rd. 30 and Co. Rd. 74 are earmarked for connection through a $2.5 million construction project. Additionally, 208th Street is scheduled for construction from Akin Road west through the industrial park at a price of approximately $2.9 million. Another $1 million is identified for the city's ninth well and pumphouse.

Five years out, the connection of Co. Rd. 74 to Co. Rd. 31 is scheduled for $3.5 million. Another $2.1 million is set aside for the reconstruction of Pine Street, and $1.75 million has been allocated for a flood control project in the Pilot Knob Road/Middle Creek area.

Many of the projects will be partially funded by other entities like Dakota County or Independent School District 192, depending on the benefit to each. The county typically contributes to in projects that will benefit the county's overall transportation system, such as the connections of Co. Rd. 31 to Co. Rd. 74.

Some funding for the projects will come from the city's funds. Some will be covered by assessments to residents who live in the benefitting neighborhoods.

Though the CIP plans for more than $30 million in projects in the next five years, each project is subject to approval by the Farmington City Council when the time comes.