Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2005

High Street plans OK’d by city

June 9, 2005

Baldwin City Council members received the first real look at all the costs associated with two High Street projects that were recently awarded grants totaling $2.254 million at Monday's meeting.

The Kansas Department of Transportation awarded the grants last month for the transportation enhancement projects. One will refurbish the downtown area with new sidewalks, lamp posts and other items and totals $1.27 million. The other project renovates the "Women's Bridge" on High Street between 10th and 11th streets and has a price tag of $984,000.

KDOT provides 80 percent of the funding, with the city to pick up 20 percent, plus design costs. The 20 percent for the city amounts to $255,000 for downtown and $197,000 for the "Women's Bridge." But, there will be an additional $226,000 for design costs.

Evans, Bierly, Hutchison and Associates engineers did the preliminary work on the projects and the council awarded the contracts to the Neodesha office. A timeline of May 21, 2006, was given for the projects' completion, but it's doubtful that will occur.

"We do have money in the 2005 budget to get the work started," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. "Basically, the biggest thing is to get the engineering started."

Utility Director Terry McKinney said the project will likely take more time.

"These dates are best-guess dates," said McKinney. "It will take 120 days for construction. Realistically, the projects can be done by the end of July. Everything has to be approved by KDOT because they are paying 80 cents on the dollar.

"I think we can get a good solid project out of this -- there's no doubt in my mind," he said.

But, it will cost money and it will have to be figured into the 2006 budget. Dingman said there is $100,000 in the 2005 budget for engineering, with the remainder to be budgeted for the following year.

"It's 20 percent plus design cost," said Dingman. "It's going to be in the neighborhood of $700,000. It's going to be an investment by the city."

Under the timeline revealed for the project, the first step was attained Monday with the signed contract. That starts the process, with the streetscape site survey to be completed by July 1. The "Women's Bridge" site survey is to be completed by July 8.

From there, it will go into the design stage. The designs and bid documents are to be ready for KDOT's initial review by Nov. 1. KDOT is to complete its review by Jan. 2, 2006. Any changes will then be made and the plans will be returned to KDOT for its final approval at approval to advertise on Jan. 24.

Bid opening on the project is scheduled for Feb. 28, 2006, and the bids are scheduled to be awarded on March 10, 2006. The final step is a pre-work conference with the contractor on March 24, 2006. From there, the work starts and is hoped to be completed in 120 days.

In other business, the council unanimously approved:

  • A request by the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce to close the 700 block of High Street for a car show during the Planes, Trains and Automobiles festivities on Father's Day weekend, June 18-19.
  • Increasing the city's health insurance benefit payment by the 3.17 percent increase given by the company.
  • The requests from the Midland Railway for no parking zones and other items around the Midland Depot for the Thomas the Tank Engine event which is scheduled for July 8-10 and July 15-17.
  • The Douglas County Hazard Mitigation program.

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