By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Street widths were determined, a petition was deemed sufficient and a Street Improvement District (SID) was created in the city’s Sage Addition and West 12th St., as part of Monday’s city council meeting.
Most of the two-hour meeting was spent discussing the streets, drainage, curb/gutter and other work that will be forthcoming in a northwest section of Imperial.
The council also spent time on street improvements, water service and drainage in the city-owned Cornerstone property, which will be bid along with the Sage Addition work.
Streets in both areas were prioritized in the city’s One and Six Year Road Plan adopted two weeks ago.
About 12 residents in the affected SID attended the meeting and joined in the discussion.
Engineer Kent Cordes with Miller & Associates expects to have the bid specs for work in Sage Addition, West 12th and Cornerstone’s 2nd Street by the council’s March 4 meeting.
If specs are approved March 4, the project will be advertised for three weeks. Bids must be opened publicly and a contractor could be chosen in April, according to Cordes.
Following Monday’s discussion, it was decided the Sage Addition streets will be 36 feet wide with a six-inch concrete thickness.
12th Street, which runs on the north edge of the Sage Addition, will be 44 feet wide (same as the width in front of hospital) and have an eight-inch thickness.
In Cornerstone, the base bid will seek costs for a gravel (aggregate) surface for 2nd Street from Holland east to Highway 61, with an alternate bid for a 44-foot wide concrete street from Holland to Orsa, with a gravel street on east to the highway.
Cordes said bidding the Cornerstone and Sage projects together could result in a more competitive bid.
Here are the estimated costs presented by Cordes on Sage Addition and West 12th St.
Sage Addition all streets 36-foot wide—$1,567,000 total; assessed amount: $1,468,000 (deducts intersections which city will pay).
West 12th (just west of Max Dr.) to beyond the Bluestem intersection with 44-foot streets—$326,000 total; assessed amount: $298,000 (deducts intersections which city will pay).
Cordes didn’t have cost estimates for 2nd Street since the council had been uncertain on whether they wanted concrete or gravel streets there.
According to discussion Monday, how 2nd Street will be developed rests on a potential housing project.
Dana Point Development Corporation was sold seven lots in Cornerstone by the city for $1 in anticipation of the construction of 10 rental housing units along 2nd Street for lower-income residents. An agreement approved at the Dec. 3, 2012 meeting requires the city to put in just gravel streets at this time, in addition to the water, electrical and sewer service, all agreed to by Dana Point.
The project is contingent on whether Dana Point secures other grant funding, which won’t be known until mid-April.
Referring to both projects, Cordes said if bids come in higher than expected, they could be rejected and plans modified to cut down the cost.
While the council will not determine an assessment schedule until the project is done and all costs are in, several residents were again curious on where the council stood on an assessment schedule.
In a verbal poll, all four council members—John Arterburn, Dan Thompson, Chad Yaw and J.R. Reeder—favored an average of some sort, such as frontage feet and lot size.
“Unless something else comes up,” Thompson said.
Reeded added, “Some will be happy and some will not.”
City Attorney Josh Wendell said the council did not need to determine that night how assessing property owners would be done.
Sid Harchelroad and Tom Luhrs both asked if the council would consider supplementing the costs of the project.
Harchelroad reiterated his suggestion of using city sales tax money to supplement the costs for property owners along West 12th noting its heavy use.
Luhrs asked if the city benefits with a lower cost for the 2nd Street work in Cornerstone because it was being combined with the Sage Addition/12th St bid, would it be willing to spread those savings back to the Sage Addition owners?
Cordes said it would be difficult to determine what the savings were in each location, unless the projects were bid two ways, with 2nd Street included in one and just the Sage Addition SID work in another.
In formal action, the council approved the street widths in both areas, directed Cordes on bid specs for 2nd St., deemed the SID petition was sufficient to proceed and adopted the ordinance creating the SID.
12th St. is ‘collector,’
not ‘arterial’ street
On a question from this newspaper following the meeting on what determines an “arterial” street, it was discovered Imperial’s 12th St. (east and west) is actually deemed a “collector” street in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, not an “arterial” street, which are considered more heavily traveled roads.
Referring to the Imperial’s Comprehensive Plan, Public Works Supt. Pat Davison said a “collector” street is described as bringing traffic from local and residential streets to arterial streets. Fifth Street, east and west, is also classified in the Comprehensive Plan as a “collector” street.
An “arterial” street is one that serves as a major traffic carrier.
Major “arterial” streets in the city limits include Highway 6, including Broadway, from the north city limits to southeast city limits, and Highway 61, from the northeast city limits to the Highway 6 intersection.
The Comprehensive Plan also requires that collector streets have 44-foot pavement and arterial streets have 46-foot widths.
Comments from several at recent meetings on paving of West 12th referred to that street as an “arterial” street in the city. Some comments supported that city sales tax money be considered to help supplement the cost of the improvements on 12th versus assessing all the costs to adjoining property owners because it was an “arterial” street.
Other council business
- Jason Tuller, Imperial’s new community development director, was introduced at the meeting by Council President Chad Yaw, who conducted the meeting in the mayor’s absence. Tuller’s first day on the job was Monday. He replaces Leslie Carlholm, who left the position the end of September.
- Following a 15-minute closed session, the council approved a $2,750 bid from Schultz Construction for security modifications in the city office.
- The council’s next regular meeting on Feb. 18 falls on President’s Day, a city holiday. The council voted to cancel the meeting that night. However, the council and mayor will be meeting a second time this month for their annual retreat Monday, Feb. 11. City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said they will start at 3 p.m. with a tour of city facilities followed by the retreat discussions in the council chambers. The council’s next regular meeting will be March 4.
- Jason Banks was approved as a new member of the Board of Adjustment (Variance Board) after his mayoral appointment was approved. At the council’s meeting last month, two other residents were reappointed to boards—Greg Dickey to the park board and Norma Dannatt to the Imperial Housing Authority.
- In other appointments to area boards, Council President Chad Yaw was named alternate to the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP) Members’ Council, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) management committee and MEAN board of directors. Public Works Supt. Pat Davison is the city’s representative for the three groups. Community Development Director Jason Tuller was appointed to the West Central Nebraska Development District board with council member Dan Thompson as alternate.
- Keno is no longer in operation at Brickstone Grille & Sports Bar. Clerk/Administrator Leyland said the operator from Hastings deemed there was not sufficient participation here, so closed it. Leyland told the council at their Jan. 21 meeting that during the time keno operated at Brickstone and at the Eagles Club, the city did collect about $3,300 in receipts.