Oakdale moves forward with Olson Lake Trail improvements

Oakdale, Lake Elmo and Washington County are teaming up on a $5.5 million project that will add a sidewalk and make sanitary sewer improvements to a span of Olson Lake Trail that runs — in part — between 44th and 50th streets in Oakdale.

Oakdale residents along that stretch of road are being assessed to help cover a portion of the cost. 

Because Olson Lake Trail is a county road that borders both Oakdale and Lake Elmo, the project is a joint venture between the three entities. 

While Washington County officials plan to resurface and improve the road, which has deteriorated over the years, the two cities aim to use the construction as an opportunity to add safe trails for biking and walking and extend the sanitary sewer to several properties: seven in Oakdale and 13 in Lake Elmo.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $5,560,000. 

As for Oakdale, it’s responsible for $522,100, which the city will partially fund with $209,300 in assessments, explained Brian Bachmeier, Oakdale’s city engineer. The city will be financing the remaining $312,800 with the city portion of state gas tax money.

Oakdale property owners along Olson Lake Trail will have two assessments to contend with: the street assessment and the sanitary sewer assessment.

The street assessment is based on the cost to remove and replace the pavement, which comes out at $47 per foot, but Bachmeier explained the city will only assess up to 100 feet per property. 

“Another part of our policy is that we measure the width of the lot at the building setback line where the homes are built, and in this particular case all the lots exceed 100 feet so they are all capped at 100 feet,” Bachmeier said.

The Oakdale City Council also decided to allow residents who have recently upgraded septic systems to delay hookup to the city sewer system. 

Bachmeier explained that typically residents have one year to connect to the system after it becomes available. But the council agreed with staff recommendations to allow residents who have recently upgraded their septic system to have up to 10 years to connect, assuming their septic system still works and the property does not change ownership.

None of the 11 residents in attendance at the April 11 Oakdale City Council public hearing spoke for or against the project or the associated assessments. 

The next steps for the project include Washington County selecting a contractor in May so construction can begin in June. The project is expected to be completed by November 2017.


Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com.


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