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  • Last modified 128 days ago (March 15, 2017)

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$25K for half a block

News editor

City council members discovered the cost of resurfacing a half block of pavement Monday, and for that they can thank rain and questionable decision-making by a contractor.

When Andrew Brunner of EBH & Associates reviewed costs for an upcoming Main St. overlay project, he started by turning back the clock to the last major downtown overlay, which ended mid—block west of 1st St.

“Some of you may remember when we were doing that project that it rained,” Brunner said. “The contractor did not listen to us when we told them to stop, and so there was some question as to whether that asphalt is still in good shape or not.”

The only section affected is the partial block west of 1st St.

A new overlay project slated for 2019 would proceed west to the Cottonwood River bridge. The question before the council was whether it should start where the other overlay ended or at 1st St., replacing the suspect section as well.

Brunner projected the cost differential to be in the neighborhood of $25,000.

City administrator Roger Holter echoed Brunner’s comments about the questionable long-term stability of that section.

“There’s enough uncertainty that they put that down, hot asphalt on a rain-soaked surface, that I’m just afraid it’s going to let loose,” he said.

Council member Jerry Kline agreed.

“If we had two good years of hard winter, which we haven’t had, that might make a big difference on that end, too,” he said.

Brunner said that actual costs could be less than estimates, and Holter said the increase could be accommodated in future budgets.

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt asked if there were any planned water projects that could lead to new overlay having to be torn apart, but none are scheduled.

Council members directed Holter to submit an application for the overlay project that includes the additional half block.

With Heitschmidt and council member Chris Costello abstaining due to possible conflicts of interest, council voted 3-0 to select low-bidder Marion National Bank to finance the lease-purchase of new 800Mhz radios for the police department.

The bank’s bid of $23,560 came with a wrinkle: Instead of using the radios as collateral, MNB proposed using the city’s loader. In the unlikely event of a default, police wouldn’t suddenly be without radios.

The city expects to receive a USDA Rural Development grant to cover the remainder of the costs. As such grants are only available for cities, one may not be available next year to assist in paying for radios for the fire department, which also serves four townships.

Holter explained that townships would be responsible for paying for some radios, and that specifics would need to be worked out to accurately allocate costs.

In other business, the city signed an updated contract with Kansas Power Pool for electricity.

Last modified March 15, 2017

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