Because 100 percent of the cost of J Street construction last year was paid by stimulus funds, more money is available for street improvements slated for this year.
The work done on J Street, a $1 million project from West 10th to Norris Avenue, included resurfacing the street and installing left-hand turning lanes on West Fifth. As the cost was picked up by stimulus funds, $250,000 allocated for the city's federal match was put toward street improvements this year, allowing the city to do about three more projects.
For 2010, a total of eight projects were approved by the McCook City Council Monday night, along with improvements on a city parking lot if enough funds are available. A total of $834,000 was budgeted for street improvements, all of it from city sales tax revenue except for $60,000 from the General Fund for a sidewalk along the U.S. Highway 6 and 34 out to Walmart.
Chris Miller, City Street Superintendent and Kyle Potthoff, Public Works Director, gave a PowerPoint presentation concerning one and six year street improvement plans at an open hearing Monday night and also answered questions from the council.
Councilman Aaron Kircher questioned why new projected costs for many of the projects were higher than what was originally budgeted.
Miller, who replaced Greg Wolford who retired as street superintendent this year, said increases were due to updated estimates done for the projects and since some of the projects have been left on the list for several years, construction costs have increased throughout that time.
One project in particular the council mentioned was the sidewalk planned to Walmart along U.S. Highways 6-34, initially estimated at $60,000. New projected costs come in at $100,000.
Potthoff said Tuesday morning that the discrepancy was due to a six-inch thick sidewalk used in the new estimates, compared to four inches originally used. Going back to four-inch thick sidewalks brings down the projected costs to $67,000 he said.
The council also decided to apply for federal funds for improvements on H Street, a project estimated to cost $1.4 million with the city matching 20 percent.
Scheduled for next year, if federal funds become available, this project would resurface H Street from Norris Avenue to Airport Road.
Another topic the council considered briefly was closing one end of the access road that runs from East Fifth to Kelley Park Drive, in front of the lower shelter house in Kelley Park.
Potthoff said some drivers speed through the area and it might be a project the city could consider in the future for safety reasons. A cul-de-sac could be constructed in the area, Potthoff explained, along with a small parking lot. A curb could also be installed, to deter drivers who drive on the grass in wet weather and throw mud up on the street.
Potthoff estimated that access from Kelley Park Drive could be closed down, due to the fact that the area contains more foot traffic with the walking trail, sand volleyball and disc golf. City Manager Kurt Fritsch added that one entry could also cut down on vandalism at the shelter house, as vandals can now get in and out of the area quickly.
Although no firm plans are in place and are contingent on council approval, Potthoff said he would bring back to the council sometime in the future drawings/estimates of the project.
Streets that will be resurfaced this year include: West F, I and Sunset, from West Seventh to Westridge; West M to Westridge; the access road in front of the lower shelter house; Norris Avenue from F to O; West Fifth to J Street; Elizabeth Avenue, from Norris to North Cherokee and the sidewalk to Walmart.
Other projects include storm sewer repair for East First, on the east end of Weiland Field and if funds are left over, improvements for a parking lot south of B Street, between Farrell's Pharmacy and Peterson's Jewelers.