Langdon City Commission plans for long winter

The Langdon City Commission had a short list of business to attend to on the evening of Monday, October 28. The main item of discussion was the preparation of the streets for winter that will not be able to have asphalt laid as the cold weather sets in.

Posted 10/31/19

By Melissa Anderson

Moore Engineering’s Andrew Aakre, the project manager for the Langdon projects, was present to deliver the unfortunate news to the Commission. Aakre explained that there was a very narrow window for the asphalt to be laid despite the best efforts of Spruce Valley Construction workers. The plan going forward is to prepare the streets that will not receive the asphalt for the winter and clear the remaining construction equipment and debris. Aakre will also discuss with the contractor the maintenance of the streets during the winter and have contingency plans in case of mid-winter thaw.

“Spruce Valley did whatever they could to make it [laying of asphalt] happen,” Aakre said.

Following the last city commission meeting Aakre was in contact with USDA Rural Development to get supplemental funding. The funding will be used to take an additional six inches of dirt off the streets to make room for gravel or recycled aggregate. Aakre reported that all of the underground construction has been completed and temporary water pipes removed.

Aakre did not have good news in terms of the issues with Quam Construction, the contractor used for Phase I. Aakre has yet to have a response from Quam for a plan on completing the remaining necessary corrections left over from Phase I that were not addressed this past construction season. Aakre suggested giving the company until mid-June to complete the work or the city will have the ability, per the contract with Quam, to proceed with the work and not be liable for the cost.

Commissioner Marty Tetrault presented the skid steer bid that was requested following last meeting’s report since the equipment used to clean the sidewalks previously had broken down. The bid was through a consortium pricing with Langdon Implement. The Commission reviewed the bid and discussed the merits of purchasing a new skid steer and snowblower for the city. Part of that discussion was if the city should even continue to clean the sidewalks on Main Street. Tetrault stated that the service came about because one business on Main Street did it for all the storefronts. When that owner sold and left, the city purchased the equipment and continued. Tetrault was unsure that that service should continue now that the equipment cannot be used.

The supervisors, Jeff Hiller and Jason Busse, were in favor purchasing the 100hp skid steer with bidded attachments. Another aspect of the discussion had to do with the width of the machine and attachments as that would be too wide for some parts of the sidewalk on Main Street due to the trees. This led to whether or not the trees should be removed, and if so, how and when. The Commission ultimately approved the bid pending approval.

In other business

Langdon City Building Inspector Gary Bimler reported that the owner of the Keck property has yet to review the property with him to determine its condition. The Commission will direct Langdon City Attorney Quentin Wenzel to send a letter to the owner to continue the condemning process.

The commissioners approved advertising for bid the renting of Kakela farmland.

Aakre presented the Rural Development Improvement warrant which will pay of the interim financing for the project and set up the long-term pay off. Aakre noted that interest rates have dropped since the bond initiative was first written, and with the decrease the city is projected to save $13,000 annually in payments. Over time, this will save the city about 10 percent from the initial project cost. The Commission did a roll call vote with all voting in favor.

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