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Major street projects on the way for Perham

Some significant street improvements could be on the way for parts of Perham, and property owners in impacted areas should be aware of possible assessments.

Those areas include several blocks in southwest Perham, and a few blocks along the railroad tracks downtown.

Cost of the improvements could reach nearly $1.3 million, and would be at least partially assessed to abutting properties.

No parts of the projects have been finalized yet. Residents will have a chance to ask questions and voice any concerns at a public hearing on Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m.

City councilors were briefed on the projects at a meeting last week by Jade Berube of Apex Engineering Group, of Fargo.

The work proposed in southwest Perham accounts for a large chunk of the total estimated cost, at just over $1 million. It would impact five blocks along 3rd Ave SW, between 2nd and 7th streets, and one block along 6th St. SW, between 3rd and 4th avenues.

Work would primarily consist of water infrastructure reconstruction and service and storm sewer improvements. The project could also include a reduction in 3rd Ave's street width (the street is currently 50-feet wide, while streets in more newly constructed areas are 44-feet wide).

Berube said the city could also consider adding sidewalks along one or both sides of 3rd Ave, which would clean up the current "checkerboard" of sidewalk/no sidewalk along that street.

Berube said the upgrades would include the installation of new valves and replacement/addition of fire hydrants; it would give the city the ability to shut off the water main, and it would replace a system that's currently "piecemealed together in some places."

The work proposed downtown would affect the parking lot/roadway that runs adjacent and parallel to the railroad tracks between 1st Ave N and 3rd Ave N, directly behind some Main Street businesses.

Berube said there are issues with potholes and an overall lack of drainage.

"Everyone's seen these," he said of the roadways. "We know they're in rough shape."

Improvements would include the addition of a drainage system, namely gutters, and repaving. The project would cost an estimated $238,000.

If the projects move forward without any hiccups, construction for both would be complete by October.

The city's Public Works and Public Safety departments have already reviewed the plans. The city council is expected to discuss the matter again at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 30.

All affected property owners will receive a letter in the mail regarding the projects.