The North Bend Eagle



City draws up road maintenance agreement with Pioneer Lake

by Nathan Arneal
Published 9/4/19

Details of an agreement between the city and the Pioneer Lake Homeowners Association on the public maintenance of the private roads within the Pioneer Lake development were discussed at the Sept. 3 North Bend city council meeting.

The agreement will call for the city of North Bend to perform general maintenance such as blading, snow removal and adding gravel. The agreement will state that the gravel roads of Pioneer Lake are to be kept to the standards of local county roads.

The agreement was sent back to city attorney Tom Thomsen for a wording change and should be ready for city approval at the Sept. 17 meeting. At that time it will be presented to the Pioneer Lake HOA for its approval.

PLHOA board member Richard Ekstrom and his wife Janet attended the meeting, and they said the perception was that Pioneer Lake was being ignored by the city and repairs were taking too long.

“That’s not the case at all,” councilman Bart Bosco said. “The problem is that what has to be done has to be done through FEMA. We just can’t go do it. We don’t have $250,000 to pay for it.”

The culvert on Cottonwood St. near the golf course leading to Pioneer Lake was wiped out by the March flood and temporarily repaired to one lane. Councilman Dan Minarick said the permanent repair needs to go through an engineering process so the new road meets federal standards and doesn’t make matters worse in the event of future flooding.

“That’s why it’s a long, drawn-out process getting that road fixed,” Minarick said. “If we don’t do it right, they can make you tear it out and redo it to their standards. It’s gruelingly slow.”

Minarick said the plan was to have Cottonwood Street repaired and open to two lanes by Thanksgiving. Bids for the project are scheduled to be opened at the next council meeting.

“It certainly looks like nothing’s happening,” Bosco said, “but we’re doing everything we can to get things fixed down there. It’s just not an overnight process.”

Attention then turned to the roads within the Pioneer Lake, specifically a low spot just south of the gate where the road curves. Richard Eckstrom asked what the city would be willing to pitch in. A contractor looked at the area and quoted a repair bid of $8,270.

Minarick said that to get the road in good condition, the washed out low spot would have to be filled. The problem with that is that part of the washout is private property, technically part of someone’s yard. He said the city opens itself to lawsuits if it uses public funds to repair private property.

“We have to toe a line that if we are going to do any repairs, we have to be careful that we’re not going above and beyond what the rest of North Bend would expect,” Minarick said.

The council said it would have the road graded and rock added if the HOA would repair the depression and raise the road to the level the HOA wants.

“All that build up (of the road) is far above what we would consider general maintenance,” Bosco said. “We’re willing to grade and put on some rock, but not build the roads up two foot because that’s not maintenance. That’s repair from the flood.”

Ekstrom said he would look into having the washout filled so the road could be graded.

“If everybody knows where they stand, we can move ahead and work together,” Richard Ekstrom said.

In other council business:

• The council decided to build a cage storage room in the back of the mens room in the auditorium. This would free up the room in the northwest corner of the auditorium for use during events to store coats or gifts or bar supplies.

• The council authorized the Fremont city staff to complete an application for a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program through NEMA on behalf of the Joint Water Management Advisory Board that North Bend is a part of. The grant would be used to develop a flood mitigation and resiliency plan to reduce flood impacts in Dodge County.


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