Reed Street project expanded as cost increases

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

THE SIGNS ARE in the snow along the right-of-way now, but they’ll be up on Reed Street this summer after the City Council Tuesday approved a contract to rebuild the street from Huson Court east. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner THE SIGNS ARE in the snow along the right-of-way now, but they’ll be up on Reed Street this summer after the City Council Tuesday approved a contract to rebuild the street from Huson Court east. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner PLYMOUTH – The city will be paying more for this summer’s street work project on Reed Street, but they’ll also be getting more street than they originally planned on.

The City Council Tuesday approved a $1.266 million contract with Buteyn-Peterson Construction of Sheboygan to rebuild Reed Street from Huson Court east.

“The project is over our projected budget,” Director of Public Works Cathy Austin told the council. Roughly $1 million had been included in the 2018 capital projects budget for the work.

City Administrator

Brian Yerges said there is sufficient money in the city’s capital projects fund to cover the increase. Plymouth Utilities is paying part of the cost of the project for sewer and water main work and has funds to cover all of that cost as well, he added.

“Part of the reason for the overage is the result of the bids but also decisions that were made during the design process as it relates to curb and gutter and other considerations,” Yerges wrote in a memo to the council.

Austin explained that much of the reason for the higherthan budgeted cost is modifi- cations to the project city officials made.

The original plan was to leave roughly six inches of original pavement along each side of the street while replacing water and sewer lines.

However, Austin said, city officials agreed that would not be the best approach.

“The right way, the proper way to do it would be to remove the rest of the pavement and get a brand new road there,” she told the council.

That will also address an issue with inconsistencies of grade along the street, she added.

To bring everything into the same grade along the street, according to Austin, the project was expanded to include completely new curb and gutter along the entire project length.

“That will flatten out some of the driveway approaches along the street,” she said.

The city received six bids on the project, “all within a really good range,” Austin reported.

“The economy is better so construction companies can charge more,” Alderman Jim Sedlacek noted.

Yerges said that, because the city has been building up its capital projects fund over the past several years, the fund is healthy enough to absorb the additional cost of the project.

“We are taking this out of the capital projects fund and not borrowing for it,” Mayor Donald Pohlman commented. “That is important. It means we’re on the right path for doing things.”

Radar speed sign approved

The council approved spending $4,246.50 for a radar speed sign to be installed on Summit Street at the west city limits.

The purchase, to be made out of the city’s contingency fund, was recommended by the council’s Public Works and Utilities Committee earlier this year.

“The speeds coming into town on Summit Street from County C are excessive,” Sedlacek, who chairs the committee, explained. “We considered this as an option for us to try to do something about speeds in that area.”

Austin noted that the city had received a petition about excessive speeds from neighborhood residents last year, along with comments during a City Council meeting late last year.

“We have received a number of complaints on speeding at the edge of the city limits with Summit Street being one of the bigger areas of concern,” Yerges noted in a memo to the council.

He also reported that the county Highway Department has agreed to conduct a speed study on County C/Summit Street in 2018 to determine if the speed limit on County C should be lowered at its approach to the city limits.

Emerald ash borer grant

Austin was authorized to seek another cost-share grant from the Bay-Lakes Regional Planning Commission for emerald ash borer mitigation.

“In the fall of 2016 we applied for this grant and we did receive a $10,000 grant,” Austin told the council.

That enabled the city to remove 100 ash trees affected by the invasive beetle and replace them with new trees.

Austin said this grant application would be for a smaller amount, with the goal of removing and replacing another 50 ash trees.

The council opened their session by conducting their reorganization meeting.

Five aldermen who won re-election in April – Greg Hildebrand, Nick Wilson, Sedlacek, Jim Faller and Shawn Marcom – were sworn in by City Clerk/Treasurer Patty Huberty.

Alderman Charles Hansen was re-elected as council president.

The list of committee and board appointments was approved. Pohlman noted that there are still citizen positions open on the Board of Review (a regular and an alternate) and the Board of Appeals.

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