Sturgis begins 2nd phase of Woodland Drive project

November 25, 2018

STURGIS — The city of Sturgis is moving ahead with the Woodland Drive project that will bring new water and storm sewer lines, along with four single-family homes, to city-owned land.

The Sturgis City Council accepted the low bid for the second phase of the project which will bring water line, storm sewer, and curb and gutter to the Woodland and 6th Street areas north of the Sturgis Community Center along Bear Butte Creek.

City Engineer Liz Wunderlich said the city received eight bids for the second phase of the Woodland Drive project. They ranged from $215,952.50 to $476,714. Wunderlich’s initial estimate for the project was $302,807. The city council accepted the low bid from North Star Construction of Spearfish for $215,952.50.

This project will bring a 6-inch water line to four new lots, and replace a 4-inch line that is currently servicing two lots. Storm sewer inlets will be installed on 6th Street and Woodland Drive. Additionally, curb and gutter and driveway aprons will be installed along Woodland Drive.

City Manager Daniel Ainslie said the project originally only included the Woodland Drive property but was expanded to include areas on 6th Street at the request of residents there.

“Significant portions of this project were done at the request of Tim Pawlowski and another property owner to address their concerns,” Ainslie said.

Wunderlich said the area to be improved on 6th Street is currently gravel.

“There is significant wear and tear on that road,” she said.

A separate project will build house foundations, garages, sidewalks, and utility connections for the four proposed homes to be built on the city land.

The city is developing a residential area off Woodland Drive with four Governor’s Houses that are expected to be completed by next summer.

At the Oct. 1 Sturgis City Council meeting, Councilmember Mike Bachand wanted to know when the city entered the home building business.

“Are we authorized to do that? To be in direct competition?” he asked.

Ainslie said the homes fill the need in the community for affordable housing.

“Frankly, they are not in competition with anything being built in the city,” he said. “It is quite common to do housing projects like this. Cities will do that.”

Ainslie said the Governor’s houses are much different than residential homes that are being built at other subdivisions around Sturgis.

Ainslie said the city will go out for bids seeking someone to build the homes. That developer would place Governor’s houses on the lots, add garages and landscape the property.

“These are workforce housing products, and there are no developers who have any interest in developing these homes,” Ainslie said Monday, at the city council meeting.

Bachand continued to question the project at the meeting Monday.

“This is an infrastructure project and to my knowledge it has never come before the infrastructure advisory council,” he said. “These are the things that need to come there so that those that do get complaints from the community can voice those to the other councilors.”

Ainslie said the item did come before the infrastructure council.

Council members voted unanimously to move ahead with awarding the bid on the second phase of the Woodland Drive project. A public meeting on the project will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, at the Sturgis Community Center to provide information about work on the 6th Street water and storm sewer project and construction of four proposed houses on Woodland Drive.

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