Wahpeton may have new improvement plan by May’s end

The Heritage Square parking lot is among Wahpeton's busiest and it's also in need of renovations. A drafted capital improvement plan outlines the parking lot project and many others.

Wahpeton’s capital improvements plan for 2022-2026 could be adopted as soon as Monday, May 17.

City council members and other leaders have been asked to review a 116-page draft, which will be discussed by the council’s finance subcommittee. Capital improvement plans (CIPs) identify individual projects, their intended timelines and funding sources.

“Capital improvement projects include expenditures for the construction or acquisition of major assets with an estimated useful life of greater than one year and value of $5,000 or more,” the draft stated.

As a public service and to illustrate how a capital improvements plan is structured, Daily News will summarize one proposed project: “Project No. 466, Heritage Square Parking Lot Reconstruction.” In the current draft, Heritage Square is referred to as its former name, Town Center Square.

• Project No. 466, which would have a total cost of $425,000, was last revised in January 2020. It is not considered a recurring item and would be debt financed.

• The project falls under the jurisdiction of Wahpeton Public Works, with the engineering project manager as its contact person. No. 466 is considered a renewal project, with a 30-year useful life and involving infrastructure.

• No. 466 has a “2” priority level, considered very important. This is at least partially due to how active the project’s land is.

“(This is) a complete reconstruct of Town Center Square Parking Lot,” the CIP draft stated. “Project includes removal and salvage of the bituminous pavement and aggregate base course. Sub cut clay material to obtain following road section: geotextile fabric, 12” aggregate base, 5 inches bituminous pavement and striping of parking lot. Also includes the removal and replacement of the raised islands.”

Necessary drainage improvements would also be included. The water main feeding Heritage Square is 3” cast iron and will be replaced, the draft continued. The sanitary sewer line should be televised, liner or replaced. The estimate given includes a replacement of the sanitary sewer line.

“(The) pavement has reached the end of its useful life. Extensive patching has been completed, with potholes being filled annually,” the draft stated.

Heritage Square’s parking lot is one of the most used in Wahpeton. Not moving forward with a reconstruction, according to Wahpeton Public Works, would result in the pavement deteriorating to a point where it would not be feasible to continue doing any patching.

“The parking lot would then need to be maintained as a gravel or ground up bituminous parking lot,” the draft stated.

As mentioned, Project No. 466 has a projected cost of $425,000 total. The project is expected to be completed in 2026.

The $425,000 figure breaks down to $365,000 for construction and $60,000 for professional services. The $425,000 would be obtained through $212,500 from Wahpeton’s “570 Sales Tax for Infrastructure” fund and $212,500 from a special assessment district.

Wahpeton’s capital improvement plan draft includes full descriptions and justifications for all projects.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, May 17.

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