Dollar General preliminary plans reviewed
KALONA — Review of preliminary plans for a Dollar General store in Kalona’s Harvest Hill subdivision Monday raised a few questions regarding traffic impact on Highway 1. The city’s consulting engineer, Jack Pope of Garden & Associates, noted that “we have no numbers yet on traffic patterns” for the highway that borders Harvest Hill on the east. The proposed business will be in the southwest segment of Harvest Hill’s commercially zoned frontage. Pope noted that attention to access to the business and nearness of the intersection with Highway 22 also needs to be considered. In fact, he suggested access to the site is “too close” to the intersection and should be moved to the west side of the property.
He also said that discharge from the retention basin is shown going across adjoining property and should instead discharge to existing storm sewer (available on H Avenue). The storm sewer calculations, he noted, should use a 100-year storm not at 25-year one. However, he stressed, these are preliminary plans.
Regarding traffic, there are some concerns about turning into the site from Highway 1, especially as a left turn, and to reduce speed there to 45 mph rather than 55 mph, some of which will need to be discussed with the Iowa Department of Transportation.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh noted that in the future,” there could be a flashing light,” something that would be at city cost. However, improvements to Highway 1 will be done by the state this year and could result in overlays on shoulders at the site. Effectively, it would provide turning lane.
Pope also said that the proposed sign for the business needs to be submitted for review and any details about landscaping.
The council authorized Schlabaugh to contact the DOT regarding traffic questions, especially regarding reduced speed and also to discuss access to the site with the owners.
Schlabaugh noted that “there was a lot of confusion on transfer of that property,” when some questions were asked about how much was owned by Dollar General.
No date for construction or opening was mentioned.
Pope also discussed the plans for the sewer line work at the east edge of Kalona, noting that application to the State Revolving Loan Fund was made; that G & A have been checking manholes, that 80 are done, 10 more are located but are buried under various debris and “a few we cannot find.” The plan is o have base line data for all of them, and “we will continue as weather permits,” said Pope.
The project also involves working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Pope expects it will be ready in March and bid lettering done in late March or early April.
In other business, the council:
•held a public hearing for the fiscal 2014-15 budget during which no comments were made. The proposed tax levy will increase by 1/10 of a percent going from $9.60 to $9.61;
•learned that the English River Watershed Management Authority (ERWMA) for which Kalona serves as fiscal agent will seek $10,000 in support from Washington County, a member of the group. It also learned that the ERWMA received a small “healthy soils” grant to help with the cost of a meeting for women landowners along the the watershed area, part of the educational and planning work for the ERWMA as part of its $150,000 DNR grant;
•learned that snow removal, to date, has cost Kalona $7,3000, which is ahead of last year, but still within the city’s budget;
•approved removal of silt deposit under the C Avenue bridge to be done by Kos Excavating at an estimated cost of $4,065. “We need to do this,” said Schlabaugh, “and get it done this winter.” Funding will be from the Road Use Fund;
•agreed Kalona should pursue a baseball bus trip to Chicago for youth and others, including finding sponsors for the trip that has an $85 per person all-inclusive cost. There were some previous trips in the past; and
•learned that the architects for the city and for the Mid-Prairie School District will meet Febraury 13 to discuss further the possible joint project between the city and district regarding a new middle school gym and a Kalona Community Center.