MARSHALL - More details of proposed sewer, water and street replacements on Walker Lane took shape during a meeting of the Marshall city public improvement and transportation committee on Wednesday. Much of the discussion stemmed from the area's unusual status.
Walker Lane, a privately created and owned residential street, is in serious need of water and sewer line replacement, said Marshall Public Works Director Glenn Olson. Along with neighboring Park Avenue, Walker Lane was greenlighted for an improvement project at a February meeting of the city council.
In February, it was noted that Walker Lane would pose physical challenges for utility and street work, as it is narrower than city street standards. However, the issue of private ownership also needed to be examined. Olson said because Walker is a private drive, the city cannot assess property owners for the street replacement. Marshall City Attorney Dennis Simpson said the deeds for the properties along Walker Lane say that expenses for maintaining the driveway are to be shared among the property owners.
Any fees assessed for replacing the street on Walker would need to be done by agreement with the property owners, Olson said. He recommended that the city draft an agreement with property owners to make improvements and assess properties for street replacement. After completion of the project, Walker Lane would be turned back over to the property owners, including for future maintenance needs like snow removal. Committee members voted in favor of pursuing the plan.
Other items discussed by the committee would result in some changing borders for Marshall if given final approval by the city. Committee members voted in favor of starting background work on annexing a portion of land west of Lyon County Road 7 and south of Minnesota Highway 19, and on "de-annexing" an area of land around Skunk Hollow Road.
In the case of the annexation, several properties along County Road 7 that are currently outside city limits, but use city utilities, would become part of Marshall.
The de-annexation proposal has more history behind it, Olson said. Back before the construction of the city's flood retention project, a portion of land near Skunk Hollow Road was turned back to the city of Marshall by Lyon County for possible future development. That development is no longer a possibility, Olson said, and it may be desirable to turn the land - most of it agricultural - and Skunk Hollow Road back to either the county or the township.
Committee members voted to start background work on both recommendations. Simpson said both the annexation and de-annexation processes require more work and external approvals, so neither item is a done deal.