The first two blocks of the upcoming street improvement project in downtown Hayward is projected to be completed by May 21, according to John McCue, public works director.

McCue updated the Hayward City Council Monday, Jan. 13, about the project, which will include new sewer and water, curb, gutter and sidewalk and road pavement from Highway 63 to 5th Street.

McCue said bid will be advertised this Thursday and Friday and will include a May 21 deadline for the first two blocks, starting from Highway 63. The projected date for total completion will be Wednesday, June 24, just ahead of the start of the this year's Musky Fest on June 26, which is currently scheduled to be held on Dakota Avenue because of the project.

Failure to meet the schedule date by the eventual contractor, McCue said, would result in a fine of $5,000 per day.

Main Street merchants had encouraged the city to aim at completing the first two blocks prior to Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25, a busy shopping weekend.

Last year the city was awarded a $1 million federal community develop ment block grant (CDBG) that requires a $500,000 city match. Besides Main Street, the project also will include replacing a sewer line from 5th Street and California to Nyman Avenue.

McCue shared other details about the project, including:

• Bids will include specs for replacing speaker conduit and wires and adding new electrical outlets used by the Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce for Main Street events along the first block near Angler's Bar and Grill. McCue estimated the cost could reach $41,000, which the chamber would have to assume.

• Existing Main Street light poles will be removed, sandblasted, repainted green and reinstalled.

• New concrete footings will be installed under all canopy poles, with those who have a pre-signed agreement with the city. He said this was necessary to guarantee the sidewalk work.

Alderperson Jim Miller said there had been discussion with artist Sara Balbin of Cable about creating a sculpture on a bumpout, or an expansion of the sidewalk bordering Highway 63. And he discussed adding bike racks along Main Street when the project is completed.

Birkie crossing Main Street

Updating the council on the upcoming February Birkie, Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, said the plan would be to allow no crossing of Main Street between the International Bridge and the finish line while skiers are completing their races Friday and Saturday. All crossings would have to occur inside the bridge passageway.

However, city attorney Mike Kelsey suggested that only having one crossing would create issues for Main Street merchants. He suggested including at least one additional crossing.

Popp said he would take Kelsey's suggestion back to his staff for consideration.

Other action

In other matters, the council:

• Learned from McCue that his department is looking seriously at two options to reduce nitrogen in the city's wastewater. One option is estimated at $1.313 million and would raise the utility rate by 4.2%. The price tag for the second option is $3.328 million, which would require a 19% rate increase. McCue said the

the city had time to consider the options and act within the next five-year permit cycle for the treatment facility.

• Approved allowing the Hayward Civic Club/Hayward Golf Course permissions to burn trees and brush this winter. The city allows burning of debris on a case by case basis. The request was made to reduce the cost of a pond project.

• Tabled a motion to remove fluoride from the city's drinking water pending receipt of a donation from NorthLakes Clinic to pay for the fluoride. In 2018, the city was on the path to remove fluoride until former Sawyer County Public Health Officer, the late Eileen Simak, led an effort to keep the fluoride and NorthLakes volunteered to cover the cost of yearly fluoridation at $10,000.

• Approved the appointment of Troy Morgan to the Business Improvement District Board, replacing Nate Gall, who resigned.

• Approved a request by Steve Butchart to hold the annual Shamrock Shuffle over the Saturday of St. Patrick's Day in March.

• Heard from Alderperson Miller about efforts to create new "wayfinding signage" in the city that would help visitors find key city amenities such as parks and trails.

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