SUN Sailor Editions Excelsior/Shorewood - Page 8

Page 8 • Thursday, March 15, 2018 College CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The original sidewalk project plan includes installation of a 5-foot concrete sidewalk with a 4-inch high curb on the west side of Water Street adjacent to Col- lege Lake, and the south side of College Avenue from Water Street to William Street. Existing sidewalks on Water and William streets are con- nections, tying the new proposed sidewalk to downtown Excelsior and other pedestrian desti- nations throughout the community. A small retaining wall, that is 180 feet long and 1.5 to 3 feet average in height, would be added on the north side of Col- lege Lake to minimize any disturbances to the shoreline. All-natural areas that are disturbed by grading would be restored with native seed mixes suitable to the area and approved by the watershed district. The design includes no wetland or fl oodplain impacts adjacent to Col- lege Lake. Existing trees would also be preserved and the sidewalk would go around the trees. The council members and residents have been in support of adding even more vegetation to help screen The Waters development for College Lake residents. The project also dedi- cates a protected wetland buffer around College Lake and would include educational signage indi- cating the buffer adjacent to the sidewalk. Last month, residents in the College Lake neighborhood received a notifi cation from the watershed district about the project, after the city applied for a permit. There was also a meet- ing at the watershed dis- trict offi cers on March 1, which was attended by no members of the public, only city and watershed staff members. Meyer said that many residents were shocked to hear about the side- walk project because the neighborhood was not notifi ed by the city. Excelsior City Engi- neer Morgan Dawley went into great detail on the many concerns and questions that were brought to the city coun- (SUN SAILOR STAFF PHOTO BY PAIGE KIEFFER) The Excelsior City Council decided to pull the permit application with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District for a sidewalk project around College Lake, after local residents protested the plan. The side- walk project is part of The Waters Senior Living development. (SUBMITTED PHOTO) The proposed plan for a sidewalk around College Lake in Excelsior was tabled after local residents objected to the project. (SUBMITTED PHOTO) Proposed plan for a sidewalk that extends onto College Avenue in Excelsior. cil by residents. Dawley said that the project, despite adding more hardcover, does not direct more storm water runoff into College Lake. “In fact, there is a defi - nite water quality benefi t to College Lake as curb and gutter and storm sewer sump catch basins are being installed, which will collect sand, grit, and other pollutants for pub- lic works maintenance crews to remove during regular maintenance ac- tivities, before the pollut- ants runs into the lake,” he said. “Currently all storm water runoff just goes straight into the lake off the road.” Dawley also mentioned that he prepared storm water calculations for the watershed district permit application. The data shows that there are no measurable increases in water levels in College Lake for the one-year and 10-year storm events, and that for the 100-year fl ood event, that the net impact on College Lake levels due to the proposed sidewalk improvements is less than one-eighth of an inch. “The project is not anticipated to substan- tially change pre-existing fl ooding conditions,” he said. Many residents chal- lenged the data, saying College Lake has already had numerous fl ooding issues from a variety of types of storms and that more hardcover would only exacerbate the prob- lem. Dawley mentioned that the project design adds zero fi ll volume to the College Lake basin. “With a curb and a sidewalk there would be a barrier from the road run- off into the lake,” he said. “Specifi cally the lake has three to four locations at low points in the roadway where a typical collection catch basin has been de- signed into the project to collect that water, pass it underneath the sidewalk, and discharge it into the lake where it goes today.” A sub-manhole cover would also be added to the outfl ow pipe to fi lter out sand, grit and other pollutants. Councilmember Greg Miller expressed concern about how this project would affect surrounding bodies of water that con- nect with College Lake. “When MCWD looked at permitting for this, one issue that has occurred in the last several years was we’ve had a 100- year fl ood two times,” Miller said. “It appears that fl ow out of College Lake, which is a low point that fl ows into Mitten Pond and it fl ows into that catch basin in Gal- phin Lake and into Lake Minnetonka. I know sev- eral years ago they put a blocker in that little catch basin to keep levels at a certain level, which it seems like the water is staying in College Lake. I’m wondering if we have had an opportunity or if it has been done to look at that whole fl ow and see if it can be improved. It appears that there is a bottleneck at College Lake.” Dawley said that there was no requirement of the watershed district to look at the water fl ow patterns between College Lake and the other bod- ies of water. 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