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More communities join quest for road grant funding

Lyon Co. agrees to sponsor Minneota, Balaton and Lake Marshall township

Photos by Deb Gau The city of Balaton is seeking Local Road Improvement Program grant funding to reconstruct Central Avenue. The city says Central Avenue’s street crown needs to be rebuilt to help keep water from draining across the roadway. When the water freezes and thaws, that cross-road drainage can be hazardous for traffic.

MARSHALL — The list of Lyon County communities that will be seeking state grant money for road improvements grew this week.

County commissioners approved resolutions of support for projects in Minneota, Balaton and Lake Marshall Township. If the funding is approved for any of the three local governments, the county will serve as fiscal sponsor.

The township and two cities are each applying for funding through the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP). The city of Minneota is asking for $1.25 million to rebuild Golf Course Road as a 10-ton road. Balaton is seeking to reconstruct Central Avenue and address issues including drainage on the street, and Lake Marshall Township is seeking about $4,700 to install a culvert under a driveway on 250th Street.

March 3 was the deadline for Minnesota cities, counties and townships to apply for LRIP grant funding. The Minnesota legislature approved a total of $75 million in funding for the LRIP program.

“It’s a competitive application process,” said Lyon County highway engineer Aaron VanMoer. VanMoer presented the three applications for county approval on Tuesday.

Previously, county commissioners had approved LRIP applications from the cities of Ghent and Russell, for proposed street reconstruction projects. The city of Marshall is also applying for up to $1.25 million to resurface Channel Parkway with concrete.

Of the three applications VanMoer brought to commissioners on Tuesday, the Lake Marshall Township project was the smallest. The township was applying for $4,693.50 to help pay for a culvert to address drainage problems on 250th Street. Currently, water tends to pool up near a driveway along the gravel road, and then washes away the gravel. The situation creates hazardous conditions for traffic and farm equipment, and has required the township to check on the road and put up closure signs during washouts, the grant application said.

VanMoer said the city of Balaton was applying to reconstruct Central Avenue within the city limits. The street’s pavement is deteriorating, and there are other issues with the roadway including drainage problems. According to the city’s grant application, Central Avenue’s street crown needs to be re-established to keep water from draining across the roadway. The cross-street drainage can be hazardous for traffic, especially during periods of freeze-thaw.

The proposed project in Balaton would also add pedestrian crossing ramps along the street to be ADA-compliant.

The city of Minnesota is seeking LRIP funding of $1.25 million to rebuild part of Golf Course Road on the east side of town.

“It’s a gravel, basically a township road,” VanMoer told county commissioners. However, the road would provide important access to Minneota’s north industrial park expansion.

Minneota’s grant application proposes to pave and upgrade Golf Course Road to a 10-ton road, with 12-foot wide driving lanes and six-foot wide shoulders. In addition, a new road named Victory Drive will be built into the industrial park expansion. The finished project would connect the industrial park with Minnesota Highway 68.

Commissioner Gary Crowley said he had gotten a call about the Minneota project, asking for his support. Commissioners were firmly in favor of the proposed grant projects too, and passed resolutions of support for all three of them.

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