Commercial Park

Progress on the Burgardt Commercial Park in Britt will continue this fall as the City Council has awarded a contract for underground improvements.

BRITT | The Britt City Council is moving forward with its commercial park.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, the city council approved a resolution awarding the contract for the construction of sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water as well as paving at the Burgardt Commercial Park — nine lots positioned between U.S. Highway 18 and Diagonal Street — and improvements near the intersection of Main Avenue and Seventh Street Northwest low-bidder McKiness Excavating Inc. of Mason City for about $931,933, which was about $20,000 below the engineer’s estimate, after a public hearing.

“I know, if the city does decide to award a contract, I believe the contractor is looking to mobilize some equipment tomorrow,” said Drew Sweers, an engineer with Veenstra & Kimm Inc. of Mason City, “and I know they looked at getting some structures ordered to try and speed up the process so they could get everything set up north of 18 in a timely manner,”

He said the underground work is required to be done by Dec. 15, 2017, and the paving will be done next spring.

The council’s vote followed discussion about the placement of excess dirt from the commercial park.

Earlier this year, the city had determined excess dirt would be relocated to areas throughout the city, like the city dump, Centennial Park and lots at the Britt Industrial Development Corp. development near the Britt Country Club.

Residents raised concerns about the placement of dirt near the country club due to change in water flow. The city said it would consider alternatives.

“It was one of the things thrown out,” said Councilor Mike Ostercamp. “There’s no definite plan on where we’re going with it.”

The public hearing, which was originally set for Tuesday, Sept. 19, was rescheduled after Earl Hill, city attorney, raised concerns about the city’s legal process.

“I don’t agree with anything that’s going on tonight with respect to this,” he said Tuesday. “I met with you folks several months ago and told you what the process was and that hasn’t been followed.”

Hill said the city had an invalid plat because a piece of land within the commercial park, where improvements are being done, is owned by MaxYield, and he hadn’t seen record of the turnover of the land to the city.

“MaxYield has agreed to give that part to the city as long as the city puts the documents together to get that parcel transferred over,” Sweers said Tuesday.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Shell Anderson, Britt city administrator/clerk, received confirmation from MaxYield that it was its intent to give the property to the city, allowing the city to proceed with its tabled items.

The land for the commercial park, including the old hotel property off Highway 18 and agricultural land from Connie Burgardt, was purchased by the city, in 2016 for nearly $209,000. The council passed a general obligation bond to cover the park’s expenses earlier this year.

In other council news for the week of Sept. 17 to 23:

  • The city council rejected Titanium Lunchbox owner Damon Baker’s request to purchase a parcel — primarily a public parking lot — behind his property for $1,500. His request was made and tabled earlier this month. Baker said he wished to purchase the parcel, so he could maintain it since the city wasn’t.
  • The city council discussed proceeding with an involuntary annex of land to be determined by a subcommittee, which it later decided to pause until it received a second opinion.
  • The city council accepted the resignation of Britt Police Officer Erik Hjelmeland and reduced his remaining contract amount by half to $1,123. Hjelmeland has accepted a position with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. The council also approved posting for his position.
  • The city council hired Mark Anderson to fill a vacant police officer position for an hourly rate of $19.55 per hour. After he completes academy, he’ll earn $20.14 an hour. Anderson will fill a vacancy of an officer who resigned earlier this summer.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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