State funding will help fund Otsego survey

by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter

Contributing writer

The Otsego City Council considered plans to pave and improve drainage on several residential streets and agreed to receive state funding to implement a resident survey at its regular meeting on May 13.

The city recently received a petition signed by the owners of six properties indicating their desire for a study to determine the cost of paving Jalger Avenue and 100th Street north of 95th Street. Other property owners, who weren’t available to sign the petition, also indicated a willingness to proceed. The feasibility study will cost $3,000 and will be paid for by the owners of the 10 properties who would benefit from the project.

Councilmember Vern Heidner was skeptical that the project would go forward when he heard a preliminary estimate that each property owner’s share of paving the road could be between $10,000 and $15,000.

City Planner Daniel Licht, countered, “A number of property owners have heard that number, and they’ve said that they would still like the project to go forward.”

The fate of the project will be decided after the feasibility study is completed and the council receives the residents’ feedback.

Also at the meeting, City Administrator Lori Johnson presented the council with an opportunity to receive $1,900 in annual funding from the Office of the State Auditor to participate in their Performance Management System program.

“This will allow us to meet our goal of surveying residents,” Johnson explained.

The council and city staff have long been looking for a cost-effective way to implement a survey to receive feedback from residents.

The next step is to design the survey by choosing the questions the council wants answered. Potential questions could run the gamut from safety and police response times to quality of pavement on roads in the city.

In other matters, the council approved the purchase of iPads for elected officials, the city administrator, and city department heads. The cost is estimated at $7,000 for all devices, software and setup. Otsego joins a long list of local government agencies, including the Rogers City Council, to utilize iPads and other helpful technology.

They also agreed to solicit quotes for three planned irrigated soccer fields and an adjacent gravel parking lot. Construction for the site near Prairie Park will take place this summer and play is expected to begin on the fields in the spring of 2014.