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Summer work will be on a smaller scale this year

Burnt out from last summer’s massive overhaul of 195th Street, residents traveling through Farmington can expect less invasive projects this summer, such as new playground equipment, crack and seal coating and a new section of bike trail.

Troy Hill Park, located on Everest Path near 193rd Street, will get new playground equipment. Parks and recreation director Randy Distad said the current equipment was installed in the late 1990s.

Councilman Tim Pitcher toured the park and agreed the current equipment was “dated.”

The city solicited proposals from seven companies with the following criteria: the cost, including installation, could not exceed the budgeted $50,000, the equipment should be innovative in design and have a wide variety of activities for all ages of children.

Six companies responded, and, after much debate, the city chose Hastings-based Webber Recreational Design for a cost of $49,811. Koolmo Construction will do the installation.

The bike trail, which currently ends at the roundabout on Hwy. 3 and 195th St (called 190th St. on some maps), will be extended south, toward town, to connect with existing trail at 194th St. The total cost of $113,779 will be shared between the city and the state. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will pay about half of the project. The city’s remaining portion of $61,440 will be covered by revenues from the city’s liquor stores and funds left over from a previous project. Work should begin in June.

The city will spend about $230,474 this summer to seal coat its streets and about $16,000 to seal coat its 23 miles of bike trails. Since 2013, the city has allocated funds for maintenance. Thanks, in part, to cheaper oil prices, the project remains under budget. The new trails on 195th St. will be sealed using a bituminous fog treatment, which is seal coating without the rock. City engineer Kevin Schorzman explained that oil is sprayed over the asphalt to fill in the voids that would otherwise be filled by water. Cracks occur when the water freezes, expanding the void.