Muscatine Council talks road repairs and landfills

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The Thursday, April 13 in-depth meeting of the Muscatine City Council spent time covering two topics that most residents do not think of on a daily basis. The council heard presentations on both road repair and construction and the Muscatine landfill.

Muscatine Public Works Director Brian Stineman gave a presentation to the council detailing a new matrix that has been set up to prioritize street repairs as needs are reported.

The matrix includes seven criteria: future utility work planned, ease of construction, traffic counts, pavement condition, leverage (potential external funding), remaining life of pavement, and the cost of construction.

Stieneman explained that when residents call the department of public works to report a problem with the street, the information will be added to the report. The problem will be assessed a rating.

The department will use the ranking system to determine which projects will be completed in each fiscal year.

The ranking will apply to larger construction projects and will not apply to small patch jobs such as potholes. The document will be made available on the city’s website so that residents can look up the rankings and better understand when each project is anticipated to be completed.

For the current fiscal year, projects include Cleveland Street, Houser Street, Sterling Woods Court, and Fulliam Street in two locations.

Following the presentation regarding the streets projects, the council heard a presentation from Tim Buelow of Barker Lemar Companies, an engineering consulting company that specializes in waste management plants.

Buelow reported on the Muscatine landfill, with regards to how much space is remaining in the current cells.

The current cells are on track to be filled to capacity by mid-winter. Included in the city’s 2017-2018 budget are plans to build cell 5. There is $550,000 allocated for that project, which is anticipated to take approximately two months to complete.

The project will need to be sent out to bid before plans are set in place. If the bids that are returned are not in line with the estimates, the city council may look at either closing or suspending activity at the landfill. If the current landfill is closed or suspended, a contact with the Scott County landfill would be the next option for waste removal for the council.

If the construction of cell 5 is approved and the plan moves forward, the council will also set plans to build cell six sometime in 2028-2029.

If the landfill were to officially close, the city will need to set funds aside for a 30-year period for closure and post-closure procedures. If the landfill were to be declared inactive, the city would be able to keep the permits active with the potential of opening the landfill for future use.

No decisions were made regarding moving forward with either the bid process or contracting with Scott County. A vote will be held by the council at a later meeting.