Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics.
Q: Is North 42nd Street going to be fixed anytime soon? I’d say it’s a pretty rocky patch of road, and I hope it will be tackled next year.
A: The good news North 42nd Street is on the city’s radar. The bad news is you’ll have to wait a few years before you’re driving on smooth road up that way.
The city tentatively has the North 42nd Street project slotted for 2018 or 2019 depending on when it can get federal funding. It is an expensive project that has to fit into a long-range financial outlook, according to city spokesman Kevin Dean.
A quick peek into the city budget’s 2014 budget — which includes a six-year cost prediction — shows an estimated cost of $4.9 million for the whole project. The length of road to be fixed runs from University Avenue to Gateway Drive.
If you’re curious, the street project with the highest priority in Grand Forks is the second phase of the Columbia Road reconstruction project, which could cost about $6.3 million.
That phase will affect Columbia from 11th Avenue South to 14th Avenue South and is scheduled for 2016.
The priority road projects for the coming year are located on the city’s south end. This is an area of Grand Forks where considerable growth is planned in the near future, according to Dean.
South 34th Street will be extended from Ruemmele Road to 43rd Avenue South. Close by, South 32nd Street also will be extended from 40th Avenue South to 43rd Avenue South.
Q: What’s the status of the Grand Forks’ recycling program since the expansion was voted down earlier in the summer? Are we still getting new bins?
A: If you want new bins on you, you’re going to have to buy them yourself or put them on your birthday wish list.
The city won’t be providing the bins as they were only included in the expansion plan that was rejected in August by the City Council and Mayor Mike Brown, who cast a tie-breaker vote against it.
While the council voted not to expand the city’s curbside recycling program, residents can still expect the same level of service, according to Dean.
For now, the city provides curbside pickup and four locations in Grand Forks where residents can drop off their recyclables.
You may use any container for recycling you choose — within reason of course. I don’t think old bathtubs make good recycling bins, but maybe that’s just me.
If you’re new in town and worried about picking the right container, the city also provides multi-colored crates to new residents.
Fees for the recycling program are charged to every utility user, but at the request of council members, the city is continuing to explore a “Pay-As-You-Throw” program — a program in which participants pay based on the amount of trash they throw away or recycle.