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Council approves plans for paving project

By James Grob,

The Charles City Council approved preliminary plans and set the date for April 4 at 6 p.m. for a public hearing on the 2022 street paving project at Wednesday’s meeting.

The project includes paving five streets with either Portland cement concrete (PCC) or hot mix asphalt (HMA).

The project will also include a new storm sewer with additional intakes and water main work which includes new service lines and some new mains. ADA accessible sidewalk curb ramps are also included within the project construction.

The included streets are Riverside Drive from Joslin to Johnson; Leland Avenue, between Riverside Drive and Clark Street; Riverside Avenue, west of Kellogg Avenue for 300 feet; Kellogg Avenue from Hart Street to 250 feet north; and Eighth Avenue between J Street and L Street.

To provide flexibility in awarding a contract, the proposal form will be prepared as a base bid including Riverside Drive, Riverside Avenue, and Eighth Avenue. Kellogg Avenue and Leland Avenue will be prepared as separate add alternates so the council can award a contract for all five street segments or only the base bid with or without including either Kellogg Avenue or Leland Avenue.

City Administrator Steve Diers said 100% of the cost of the projects would be paid for with the city’s local option sales tax revenue. He also said the projects were mostly streets that should not interfere with RAGBRAI traffic this July.

In other action on Wednesday, the council approved the submission of a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant application and approved the commitment of funding to continue the Charley Western Recreational Trail about 2,000 feet to North Grand Avenue near the relocated railroad depot.

The project would be about $290,000, to extend the trail along 11th Avenue from F Street to North Grand Avenue.

TAP is federal funding, administered by the North Iowa Area Council of Governments (NIACOG). TAP applications are awarded on a competitive basis within the NIACOG region, and the city’s application was not funded last year. This year’s TAP application is due to NIACOG by March 17.

The project funding is 80/20, meaning that if the grant is approved the TAP funds would pay 80%, but the city would need to come up with a 20% match, or about $58,000. In addition, the city needs to commit to maintaining the trail for at least 20 years.

The relocated depot building will be the location for the American Passenger Train Museum and could also include public restrooms for a trailhead for the Charley Western Bike Trail.

Currently the bike trail ends at F Street near 11th Avenue and does not extend to North Grand Avenue. For the depot to function as a trailhead, the bike trail would need to be extended to the depot’s new location.

The council also officially accepted the completion of the ambulance bay remodeling project at Wednesday’s meeting. Work on the bay at the fire station was done by Henkel Construction, as overseen by Mark Moine of Martin Gardner Architecture.

The original quote of the project was just over $140,000, and change orders brought the final total to $162,609.35.

Work included construction of five rooms to be used as office/dorm rooms, removal and filling in of one of the garage doors, construction of a storage mezzanine area as well as HVAC, electrical and plumbing work.

Change orders included additional masonry work at the front wall to include windows, construction of temporary sleeping quarters in the bay (which has since been made permanent), additional door frame painting and overhead door control relocation.

Additionally, it was necessary to update the access door from the bay to the office area with a window to safely provide access from both directions, which added more than $22,000 to the project.

Also on Wednesday, the council approved a resolution to revise the facade program guidelines. Facade grants now include a maximum of $15,000 in funding allowed for multiple projects on the same property, as long as the project is substantially different from the previous one.

In other business on Wednesday, the council:
— Swore in new Charles City Police Officer Cody Blunt. Blunt was born and raised in Charles City and his lived in the community his entire life. He and his wife, Kim, have two children in high school.
— Re-appointed Diane Meyer and Sarah Barrett to the Parks and Recreation Board.
— Re-appointed Christopher Anthony and appointed Jason Webster to the Historic Preservation Committee.
— Approved the use of Central Park and the closure of adjoining streets on July 9 for the Charles City Rotary Club’s Santa’s Shine and Show Car Show. The event will be in conjunction with the “Christmas in July” retail event and possibly the Charles City BBQ Challenge.
— Accepted the 2020 storm damage improvement project and approved final payment award the project. The project was completed at a total cost of $241,131, which is 3.8% more than the original bid amount of $232,220. The additional cost was due to a conflict with a gas main and the new storm sewer on South Grand Avenue and some additional storm sewer pipe on the J Street site. Kamm Excavating was the contractor.

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