Above is a proposed landscaping plan for part of this summer's Frontage Road project. Some council members feel this plan will require too much maintenance. The council will revisit project details at its March 13 meeting. Photo by courtesy of Bill Angerman, city engineer.
By David Richards
By this time next year, it will be all complete.
For now, Byron's Frontage Road project, estimated at $4.4 million, is still in the planning phases.
Work on the renovation, which includes the construction of the town's first roundabout, is now expected to begin after Memorial Day Weekend and wrap up in November.
At the Feb. 27 city council meeting, city engineer Bill Angerman presented a detailed update on the project, including proposed landscaping for the roundabout and the surrounding area by 10th Avenue.
The proposal included a landscaped median, a limestone Byron sign and a Gateway Plaza that sits off the road and is designed for everything from flags to a Christmas tree.
Angerman said the proposed design was created by a firm out of the Twin Cities and was then approved by the public works committee that includes two council members.
Other council members, however, thought the proposed landscaping was just too much.
"When I look at this, I see a lot of maintenance," councilman Bret Baumbach said. "I was hoping we could keep it at a minimum."
Mayor Ann Diercks and councilman Matt Brekke agreed.
Council members Jason Snow and Bob Meyer are members of the public works committee.
Angerman said his understanding of the council was to create something that looks good as an entrance to Byron and with reasonable maintenance, which is what he said the proposal offers.
"I don't care what you put in there, as long as you support it," Angerman said.
The council did seem to be in favor of the sign, which would measure 7 feet high by 10 feet tall.
Angerman said the public works committee will meet again before plans go back before the council in March.
The Frontage Road project is expected to be paid with a combination of state aid money, assessments and a bond.
Twenty percent of the overall total project cost will be assessed to the businesses and homeowners located along the reconstruction area.
After the expected final approval in March, bids are expected to be received by April, with a final assessment hearing and the awarding of the contract set the same month.