Monthly public works column

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Mike Hardin. I was born and raised here in Sleepy Eye. I have been employed by the city, in the water department, since November 2010 and recently moved into the Public Works Director position. I live in town with my wife, Mindy, who is a 4th grade teacher at Sleepy Eye Public School, and our three children—who keep us busy in our “free” time.

I thought I would touch on a couple of projects that will be going on in town this year. We have the 12th Avenue NE and St. Mary’s Street construction project that will start this spring as soon as the weather allows contractors to begin. This will include extending 12th Avenue to the north and building a new railroad crossing. It will also include extending St. Mary’s Street to the east to connect with 12th Avenue on the south side of Home Cemetery. Elm Street will also be extended to the east and tied into 12th Avenue just north of the new railroad crossing. With this project we will also be building new sewer and water infrastructure to accommodate for new residential and commercial lots.

Our second project that will be going on this summer is a large street and utility reconstruct project. With this project we will be doing several blocks of complete sewer and water reconstruction along with new curb and gutter, road surface, and sidewalk replacement where needed. There will also be several blocks of just road surface replacement, along with fixing curb and gutter where it is needed. This project is also scheduled to start this spring as soon as weather permits, with the exception of tree removal. With this project there are approximately 60 trees that need to be removed to allow for proper repair or replacement of curb and gutter and sidewalks, along with being able to install new sewer and water services into each property. You may have noticed that some trees have already been taken down, this is because we would like to have the trees removed and out of the way before the project starts in the spring. In the neighborhoods where construction will be taking place, we will be holding neighborhood meetings before construction begins in order to give everyone affected an idea as to what all will be taking place during the project.

As you can tell it will be a busy construction season in town this year. If you have any questions or concerns during either of these projects feel free to contact me at 794-4371.