Clearing paths comes with costs

City makes plan for sidewalk snow removal

Given the potential for late winter and spring snowstorms, the Minot City Council decided Tuesday to hire contractors to help with clearing sidewalks and bike paths that are the city’s responsibility.

Storms that dumped significant snow on the city this winter kept city snow removal crews occupied on streets, leaving sidewalks and bike paths neglected and prompting residents’ complaints. In response, the city sought bids from contractors to provide sidewalk and bike path snow removal in the future when the city needs help.

“There was a lot of concern by us and members of the public about coming clean with the sidewalks,” council member Stephan Podrygula said. “We listened to what we were hearing and we’re trying to respond, but it does carry a significant cost.”

Using an estimate of three snow events yet this season, including one large event, the city estimates the cost could be about $78,000 to have sidewalks and bike paths cleared within 48 hours. The money will come from general fund reserves.

The estimate is based on the low bids.

The council accepted the low bid of Birdys Hydromulching for priority areas that include the Broadway overpass, Third Street Northeast bridge, Sixth Street underpass, Fourth Avenue Northwest bridge near Oak Park, 16th Street near Burdick Expressway, Burdick Expressway bridge as well as Ramstad, the new city hall, parking garages and Broadway pump station. 

The city accepted the low bid of Schultz Property Management for snow removal citywide for other sidewalks and bike paths for which the city has responsibility. 

Public Works Director Dan Jonasson said the next step will be to draft contracts for the companies. Until that is in place, city crews will continue to handle sidewalk clearing, which has been the case with the recent snowfall.

“We have our street department staff out working on it,” Jonasson said Tuesday night. “They started early this morning. They should be through all of them in the next day.”

The council also approved use of sales tax dollars to help cover a bid of $426,600 from Rolac Contracting for the children’s library remodel, which will include a new play area.

Together with more than $180,000 in donations, library funds will cover the base bid for construction. The city is adding sales tax dollars to cover the additional cost of a new children’s library entrance. The exact amount of that contribution will depend on the total donations and grants still being sought by the library for this part of the project.


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