The City of Hayward has been awarded a $1 million federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to address Main Street infrastructure issues and a sewer line, it was announced at the City Council meeting Monday, Aug. 12.
The CDBG award is a 2-to1 match grant requiring the city to contribute $500,000 to secure the $1 million. In total, $1.5 million would be available for projects.
The Main Street work would involve replacing water and sewer lines, curb and gutter, sidewalks and blacktop.
However, Michael Stoffel, a civil engineer with Ayres Associates, the city's engineering consultants, said the grant also could also be used for improvements and beautification.
The $1.5 million project also would include replacing a sewer line from California Avenue to Nyman Avenue, crossing county property. Public Works Director John McCue said the county would like to see a road on its property in the vicinity of the sewer line. McCue said another road could become another important north-south route.
"We have two years to spend this money," Stoffel said. "So essentially, by December of 2021 the money has to be spent."
Because of the project size and its location, Stoffel advised against attempting construction during the tourist season, from Musky Fest in June to Labor Day in September. McCue said his preference is the spring of the year versus the fall.
Stoffel also advised against attempting construction in 2020 to allow a year to meet with business owners and the newly formed Business Improvement District (BID) board to discuss ideas for the Main Street portion.
"I would say we spend this first winter (and) first summer meeting with the businesses, building consensus, getting everyone on board, preparing for it and then hammer it out the spring of 2021," Stoffel said.
McCue also said he wants to take the time and have meetings with the business owners to explore options.
This is the third CDBG the city has received recently. In 2016 it was awarded a grant for 5 th Street and another in 2018 for a project at Dakota Avenue and 2 nd Street.
The city is considering pursuing a fourth CDBG grant in 2021 for Railroad Street improvements.
Later in the meeting, the council approved a professional services contract with Ayres for $268,000 to develop the work plan for the $1.5 million project and to help supervise the actual work on Main Street.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) had asked the city to pay half the bill for removing contaminated soil found beneath Highway 27 during recent construction.
McCue objected because the water found under the street was not found to be contaminated even though the the soil was.
On Monday McCue told the council he had discovered the soil was slightly contaminated but could have been put back directly under the new blacktop, but during construction there were time constraints. The DOT decided there wasn't enough time to wait two weeks for official test results to return and so it had the soil removed and replaced.
McCue said had been aware of the issue at the time but wasn't consulted on the decision to remove the soil.
The DOT, McCue said, wanted the city to pay $12,744, or half the cost. He said he feared that if the city doesn't pay its half, the DOT might decline to pay any and leave the city to pay the full cost.
The council agreed to pay half of the cost.
With the recent acquisition by St. Joseph Catholic Church of a columbarium, a structure to hold the ashes of the deceased, McCue advised the council that the city needs ordinances pertaining to columbaria that would anticipate such issues as perpetual maintenance of the structures and who is responsible for the structures if a church relocates or closes.
The council agreed to begin research and discussion of an ordinance.
In other action, the council:
• Approved a Back to the Badge 5K fun walk/race for Oct. 19, beginning and ending from the walking trail at Hayward High School.
• Approved the second annual SuperHero 5K Run/Walk on Sept. 21 by the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Sawyer County.
• Agreed that the city would be the agent for Hayward Civic Club in securing an $800,000 loan from the state's trust fund to address a failing irrigation system at the Hayward Golf Club. The civic club would be responsible for repaying the loan.
• Approved a Homecoming bonfire for Hayward High School Oct. 11.
• Agreed to expand the scope of the liquor license for Thousand Oaks LLC, concerning Flat Creek Restaurant & Salon, to include the property's entire premises.
• Approved placement of an honorary veteran road sign by the Veterans Center.
• Approved for a one-year trial period a request by the North Country ATV Club to designate Nyman Avenue from Highway 77 to Main Street as an ATV-approved trail. It was approved for one year to observe that the approved ATV route does not interfere with the existing bike/pedestrian trail along Nyman Avenue.