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Charley Western Trail Bridge project moving forward after council vote

By Kelly Terpstra,

The plan is for almost 350 linear feet of concrete to reconnect the Charley Western Trail over the Cedar River.

That goal took a big step forward Monday as Charles City Council members voted unanimously to approve the preliminary plans and specifications for the $1.2 million Charley Western Trail Bridge Project.

“We’re almost there. We almost have a new bridge,” said council member Michael Hammond.

The design plans submitted by Calhoun Burns and Associates call for construction of a 349-foot-long and 12-foot-wide concrete beam bridge to replace the old one, which was demolished in the summer of 2018 after it was closed for safety reasons.

“We’re definitely moving forward,” said Mayor Dean Andrews.

The project also includes approximately 350 feet of trail removal and replacement at both ends of the bridge.

Check plans were submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation on Sept. 17. Final plans will be submitted to the Iowa DOT before Oct. 22. The project will be let by the Iowa DOT on Jan. 22, 2020.

A public hearing on the final plans, specifications, and form of contract will take place in the council chambers at a Feb. 17, 2020 meeting.

City Engineer John Fallis’ estimated the cost of the project at $1.17 million.

He said local and regional grants, as well as general obligation bonds will be used to pay for the trail bridge. The city will start a public fundraising campaign later this month.

The council also approved an agreement with the Iowa DOT for the project to receive $329,000 federal aid TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) money.

The new bridge is slated for completion in the summer of 2020.

Also at the regular meeting Monday evening, a quote of just over $78,000 from Fischer Bros. LLC of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, to fix the Lions Pool water slide was approved by the council.

The water slide restoration company will build a new support structure out of galvanized steel and apply a new gel-coat interior finish to the fiberglass slide.

An annual inspection found rust, corrosion and cracks on the slide last summer. Work could be finished on the slide by this spring.

A $26,000 quote from Dixon Engineering to inspect the Corporate Drive Water Tower was passed unanimously. The design team’s work on the tower includes on-site observation, project administration and final inspection.

The inspection for the 1-million-gallon fluted column water storage tank is part of a reconditioning project that would later include pressure washing the outside of the tower and painting it with an epoxy coating.

Cory Spieker, water superintendent, estimated the cost of that part of the project at $200,000 and he said he hopes that work could begin sometime next spring.

A project between Allied Land Development and the city to build eight new units in the Allied sub-division was undertaken in 2014. Seven units have been completed and sold.

Gary Veeder requested that the city consider Allied’s obligation met and to release it from constructing the final home. The desire is to list that property for sale.

The resolution was passed by the council, meaning the project was accepted as complete.

The current total assessed value of the seven completed properties is $1.94 million. The initial estimate was just over $1 million.

Another resolution was approved so that the city can enter into a general obligation Sewer Improvement Loan not to exceed $3 million to help fund the $17 million water resource recovery facility (WRRF).

At an Oct. 21 council meeting, the council members will vote on passing a resolution that would approve an application to the state revolving loan fund for a total of approximately $17 million to help build the WRRF.

Another resolution was passed by the council that directs the Planning and Zoning Commission to review adding a special use for garages on a lot without a principal building. The city’s zoning ordinance considers a garage an accessory structure and does not allow such buildings to be built on a lot without a principal structure.

Four street locations were approved to be repatched by Heartland Asphalt for $45,000. The work will be undertaken as part of the Iowa Department of Transportation-funded SWAP project. The portions of the street where the patching will be done are:

  • Fourth Street between Main and Jackson streets.
  • South Jackson and Third streets.
  • Fifth Street west of Clinton Street.
  • Fifth Street west of Cedar Street.

The council approved the second readings of five separate ordinances that would rezone property within the city limits. Four adjoining resolutions were given the go-ahead by the council to have a third and final reading for the ordinances that will take place Monday, Oct. 21. One ordinance’s third and final reading was waived after council approval.

The properties or areas involved are:

• The 400 block of North Grand (from Fourth Avenue to Fifth Avenue) to be rezoned from B-1 (business district) to R-2 (general residence district).

• A small area at the west end of Court Street, as well as the 1100 block and south half of the 1200 block of Court Street, to be rezoned from R-1 (single family residence) to R-2.

– The Avenue of the Saints Development Park would be rezoned from B-4 (highway service district) and U-A (urban agricultural district) to M-2 (general manufacturing district).

– AgVantage, located at 2131 Old Highway Road, has submitted a rezoning petition to rezone its property from B-4 and U-A to M-1 (light manufacturing district) to allow for future construction. A third reading of this ordinance was waived after a vote by the council. Fallis said the business would like to start construction immediately.

“At this time of the year, two weeks makes a big difference,” Fallis said.

• Ordinance 1138 would amend Section XVIII of the Zoning Ordinance by adding alcoholic beverage processing and bottling as special use in the M-1 district.