Plans to build a new sewer line in the southern portion of Woodbury cleared a few hurdles Wednesday as the City Council decided to move forward with some details of the project.
Construction of the sewer would open the door for development in the area (see map), said City Engineer Klayton Eckles. While the city would initially have to carry the cost of building the utility line, Woodbury would recoup the expenses as homes are built, he said.
The exact cost won’t be known until the city seeks bids for the project, but a memo to the council estimates it at $3.6 million.
The council unanimously approved the preliminary report, ordered the project, and authorized the preparation of plans and specifications. City staff also is in discussions with landowners in the area to purchase the parcels needed for the sewer.
“Right now everything is looking very positive in that regard,” Eckles said.
If the plans continue as scheduled, construction on the new sewer line would begin in May or June, with the work completed a year later, Eckles said. If there are a few hiccups along the way, he said the planning efforts would remain applicable in the future.
Woodbury Wins Environmental Award
Woodbury on Wednesday accepted the Minnesota Chapter American Public Works Association’s Environmental Stewardship Award.
Sherri Buss, chair of the Minnesota the group’s Environmental & Sustainability Committee, presented the award to Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens. The city’s Engineering and Public Works Department, Parks Division and Environmental Division were singled out for their work.
The city has demonstrated a “sustained effort” in environmentally friendly practices, Buss said.
According to a city memo, factors that contributed to the award included:
- Community commitment and staffing
- Stormwater management
- Potable water strategic initiative
- Green infrastructure
- Roadway design principles
- Snow and ice control program
- Fleet and building management
Environmental Management Ordinance
The Woodbury City Council on Wednesday opted to table a vote on a number of proposed changes to its Environmental Management Ordinance so officials can solicit feedback from business groups and developers.
The revisions were generally proposed to reflect current practices and changes in city policy.
Two items of note include increasing the buffer around wetlands from 15 feet to 25 and the addition of a procedure to deal with situations in which landowners remove trees ahead of development with the intent of avoiding tree-replacement requirements. The proposed changes to the ordinance also include additional measures for environmental review and compliance and enforcement.
New Councilman Christopher Burns, who was sworn in Wednesday, suggested tabling the item so the city can hold public meetings about the proposed changes. The city will revisit the ordinance at a later date.
City Continues to Battle Snow
The city of Woodbury typically gets 46 inches of snow during the colder months. So far this season 41 inches have fallen.
David Jessup, from the city’s Public Works Department, acknowledged that it’s been a “trying time.”
“It has been a challenge for everyone,” he said.
He outlined the city’s procedure for clearing snow at the end of Wednesday’s council meeting.
The main roads get first priority, he said, noting that crews were out at 2 a.m. for the Dec. 11-12 storm that dropped 17 inches of snow on Woodbury. Next are residential streets, followed by trails, which are cleared starting with those close to schools, then those along major roads and finally the city’s interior trails.
Woodbury is still working to clear all its trails, made difficult by the major storm that prevented some equipment from being used, Jessep said.