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City council selects company to come up with a stormwater plan

Oct 13, 2017 08:49AM ● Published by Editor

By Brian Larsen from The Cook County News Herald - Friday, October 13, 2017

Every time there is a significant rain or a lot of snow melting away there is a “lake” in the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op parking lot. But those days may be coming to an end, or at least some of that flooding— and flooding elsewhere in the city— may be mitigated by action taken by the Grand Marais City Council on Wednesday, October 11.

The city has been working for the past year with Cook County Soil and Water to develop a Stormwater Plan for the city. Following a request for proposals, in September the city received three proposals from firms who had submitted very different budgets and methodologies to come up with a stormwater plan. 

Of the three submisisons that came from Barr Engineering, Emmons and Oliver Resources (EOR) and Wenk and Associates, the city chose EOR.

Soil and Water has worked with EOR and reported that the staff had positive experiences with the firm. It was decided that EOR’s proposal “provides the most precise description of the deliverables they intend to deliver, and they are a good match with the needs of the city.

“Through a combination of good layout, clear description, correct deliverables, smart strategies, and right pricing, staff recommends working with EOR to prepare the Stormwater Plan.”

Cost to get this planning work done by EOR came in at $83,490. City Administrator Mike Roth said the city currently has $25,000 committed to this project in city funds. Roth also said there was $25,000 of BWSR funds and another $7,500 STAR grant from the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program that would help to pay EOR’s fees.

Also, BWSR, said Roth, has $18,200 in funding that can be secured through a one-on-one match.

Roth said the city intends to provide this match, but it will not be confirmed until the final levy. Total funding for the project is $93,900.

Once all of the financial details have been worked out, EOR will begin its work. It is expected a storm water plan will be delivered to the city council sometime in four to six months. 

In other business

. Keller Fence Company was the lowest responsible bidder to supply and install a chain link fence and gates around the Public Works Facility at the cost of $98,975. 

. Anton Moody requested a variance from a front yard setback to build a single family home 10 feet from the property line, 15 feet short of the required 25-foot setback. 

The setback occurs from the Second Avenue right of way, which is used for drainage and will not be used for a roadway. 

Two letters of support were submitted at a public hearing held on October 4 to discuss the request. 

There were no letters or voices opposing the variance. 

When asked about the site selected to build the home on, Moody said it was picked to avoid wetland impact on the property. 

The planning commission recommended the request for several reasons, one of those cited said, “The plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property not created by the landowner.” 

Council unanimously approved the variance request with councilor Anton Moody abstaining from the vote. 


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