The Silver Lake City Council during its quarterly meeting on Monday received a 90 percent update from Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) for the Silver Lake Infrastructure Improvement Project. SEH reviewed the timeline for the next steps in the project including the list of proper forms that need to be submitted over the course of the next few weeks. Representatives from SEH said they will submit the 100 percent plans of specifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development by Sep. 5 and that the review could take anywhere from “two to three weeks” to complete. A feasibility report will be presented on Sep. 16 at the city council meeting that was approved for preparation in July and a call to action for a public hearing will be had afterwards. The public hearing would be tentatively scheduled for Oct. 21 according to SEH. The final plans and specifications will be presented to the Silver Lake City Council on Nov. 18 where they are expected to authorize advertisements for bids after the presentation with bid opening starting on Dec. 19 according to SEH. “It’s a good time to open bids, I mean we are opening bids in Dec. and it’s good, contractors are going to like this project and we’re hopeful,” SEH Project Engineer Brody Bratsch said. The city council is expected to accept the bids and consider the awarding of the project on Feb. 17 with the project starting up when the ground thaws in 2025.

The project is set to have 11 phases. “We’ve spoken with contractors before about not making phases too small but then also balancing where you don’t want phases to be too large where you have six blocks opened up at a time and someone has to park their car and walk six blocks, so we don’t want to do that so we kind of tried to go about this to where if there’s work going on that someone would only have a block to a block and a half maximum away from their house to where they have access,” Bratsch said. “We won’t let them blow up the entire town and have 15 blocks closed down and move on to the next one, we won’t let them do that, we’ll have them get substantial completion on three to five blocks at a time and then move on to other areas of the project so we’re not grid locking the entire thing,” A SEH representative added. The phases are also impacted by the placement of water pipes and the location of gate valves in the city. SEH anticipates that the project will stop before or after reaching phase four by the Fall of 2025. SEH said they have had meetings with the Glencoe-Silver Lake School District “curbing their expectations” and that a bus lane will be fully open during the school year.

Pola-Czesky update

The city council unanimously approved a request for a $3,000 city budgeted contribution to be used for wrestling instead of fireworks during Pola-Czesky Days on Saturday, Aug. 3. The event will have children’s games at the park, a pedal pool, barrel train rides, and wrestling in the auditorium parking lot. Silver Lake Public Works Director Chris Penaz said should it rain during the event they have permission to use the main floor of the Silver Lake Auditorium for the wrestling component. “Personally, I’ll miss the fireworks, but I do like the idea of focusing on a lot of events on Saturday, that makes sense,” Silver Lake City Councilor Joanna Jacobs said. Pola-Czesky Days is scheduled for Aug. 2-4.

Municipal liquor store updates

The city council unanimously approved the closing of the south parking lot entrance and the west parking lot of the Municipal Liquor Store on Friday, July 12, to have an outdoor band and dance event for the five-year celebration of the Muni restoration. The band and dance will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Additionally, the council unanimously approved a quote to repair the Municipal Liquor Store air conditioning from B&C Plumbing & Heating of Hutchinson for $5,100. Penaz said the air conditioning will be fixed prior to Pola-Czesky Days.