Lundberg shares 2020 mayoral outlook

Jamie Hult, Staff writer
Mayor Paul Lundberg adjourns the Jan. 13 meeting of the Brandon City Council. Jamie Hult/BV Journal

Mayor Paul Lundberg would like 2019 to be remembered as the year Brandon started getting things done – and for 2020 to pick up right where last year’s progress left off.
“Just like 2019, we have a ton of projects on the books, and it’s going to take a lot of good weather and a lot of hard work to get all of these projects done,” Lundberg said. 
He’s taking an optimistic approach to an ambitious lineup of infrastructure needs to tackle this year.
“That’s my personality; I want to get a lot of things done in as short a period of time as we can, and we’re continuing with that mode in 2020,” Lundberg said. 
The city accomplished a long checklist of infrastructure improvements in 2019 and embarked on several more. 
First, the city replaced the water treatment plant’s greensand filter media with IMAR, completed water looping projects on Redwood and Aspen boulevards, finished Redwood Boulevard storm sewer improvements and wrapped up the final phase of water, sewer, storm sewer and street improvements to the Brandon Park Addition. 
The city also resurfaced Sunrise Park with synthetic turf, installed new fence safety tubing at Aspen Park, resurfaced the tennis courts there to create a pickleball playing surface, and completed annual street maintenance and slurry seal installation. 
Administratively in 2019, Brandon revamped its website and utility bill design, implemented park shelter reservations online, began offering city pet licenses, launched a water conservation rebate program, replaced more than 300 aging water meters and hired a social media consultant.
The city also refinanced its Brandon Fire Station bonds, lowering yearly payments and interest rates for a savings of $100,000, hired a police chief, welcomed three new officers and completed key studies that identified alternate water sources and expansion options for Aspen Park.
In addition, Brandon embarked on several projects in 2019 that will carry over into 2020. 
Work will continue this year on the Main Avenue Interceptor Sewer Project, which is around one-third complete; development and installation of well 8; and improvements to the intersection of Holly and Sioux boulevards, which are about 60 percent complete.
Still, more projects are in the works for 2020, too.
In February, the city will bid out phase one of the Core Area Replacement Project, along with a joint repair and crosswalk safety project along Holly Boulevard. 
The Core Area Project, Lundberg described as “very bold, very forward-thinking and very big.”
“It’s quite an undertaking ... It’s bigger than anything the city of Brandon has ever taken on. Unfortunately, there’s going to be a little pain, as with anything,” he said. “But the end result will be very, very nice for the entire community.”
Also on tap for 2020 are the first phase of street reconstruction in the Rushmore Drive area, coordinating with the Metropolitan Planning Organization on bike and transportation plans, preliminary work on an eastside trunk sewer extension and, this fall, preliminary work to bring $1.6 million in improvements to the Brandon City Pool, including a splash pad. 
And this fall, the city will bid out construction of a 1.25-million gallon water tower in east Brandon.
Plans for 2020 don’t include unforeseen construction delays due to Mother Nature, Lundberg acknowledged, and he’s mindful that those hiccups can and likely will come along.
“Continuing in 2020, we’ll also be very continued and very watchful of flooding. We’re almost guaranteed to have to deal with that again, unfortunately,” he said. 
Moreover, the city is anticipating even more 2019 sales tax revenue than it had anticipated – $3.3 million, compared to $2.9 million that was budgeted.
Above all, Lundberg said he plans to dedicate 2020 to “continuing to work hard for the city” to the best of his ability.


The Brandon Valley Journal


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Brandon, SD 57005
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