That was the good news as the council met for its last 2013 meeting on Dec. 23. Alderman Bob Midnight was absent.
The bad news came when the project was discussed during the Dec. 17 Water Street Light (WSL) Committee meeting: the actual construction isn’t slated to begin until 2017 — and that’s pending right-of-way (ROW) and environmental permits.
The project will take place in two phases. If the first begins in 2017, it will take approximately a year to complete, making it end some time in 2018. The actual construction of the second phase will begin when sufficient funds are in built up from their yearly alotments from the state/federal government.
The project is estimated to cost over $1.8 million with the expenses split 80/20 between Federal Surface Transportation Urban (STU) dollars and the city’s Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) dollars.
Phase one will be paid in full when completed.
STU dollars are federal money given to any municipality with a population exceeding 5000.
"The money must be used on streets that are designated through IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) as Federal Aid Urban (FAU) roadways and matched with local money," explained HMG project manager Devon DeJournett. "They obtain an allotment of this money every year with the stipulation that it must be used on FAU roads in town and improved to standards acceptable to IDOT and the federal government. Typically communities will have an improvement project once every five to 10 years."
The 12th Street project's length has much to do with the steps involved before construction can begin, DeJournett explained. Those steps are: the conceptual phase; engineering; project development; certified right of way acquisition; design and permitting; plans, specifications and estimates; and letting. DeJournett noted that using federal funding for the project also adds to the timeline.
"This project has a lot of steps and a lot will happen upfront with little cost, but it is lengthy process," DeJournett told the WSL committee. "It will probably be this time next year before the project receives IDOT approval so we're still a long way out as to how to contract it."
While the project will start at Catherine Street, continuing east along 12th Street for approximately 3000 feet to a point 200 feet east of Pullen Street, the stages of the phases have not been determined. DeJournett informed the WSL Committee that his intent for the project is to install curb and guttering along the more urban area of 12th Street with a small shoulder as it draws closer to its Highway 45/Fifth Street intersection. "That's our intent but the decision can come much later," he said.
Along with obtaining right of way from property owners, the project will also entail relocation of utilities affected by the construction.
WSL Committee chairman Alderman Charles Barfield noted during the Dec. 17 meeting that "there are lots of streets need lot of attention" around the city and devoting so much funding to one street is a "fine vein here." Mayor Billy McDaniel agreed that the funding is costly but emphasized that "12th Street is a main thoroughfare, more are using it than (Highway) 45. I think all agree it needs be done."
The 12th Street project last came before the city council at its Sept. 12, 2012 meeting. At that time with a 7-2 vote — with Aldermen Richard Corzine and Jerry Mizell voting against — the council approved design phase of the reconstruction to begin allowing the city's engineering firm Engineering Inc., to develop the project's scope, cost estimates and design costs. Engineering Inc. merged with HMG a short time later. The Dec. 23 vote allows HMG to proceed with the 12th Street project.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation website, 12th Street's average daily traffic is 6600 vehicles.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the council's regularly scheduled meetings for 2014. Excluding holidays, meetings are held the second and fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the council room of Metropolis City Hall. If a holiday falls on a Monday, the meeting is held on the second or fourth Tuesday. Meetings are open to the public. Dates are: Jan. 13 and 27; Feb. 10 and 24; March 10 and 24; April 14 and 28; May 12 and 27th; June 9 and 23; July 14 and 28; Aug.11 and 25; Sept. 8 and 22; Oct. 14 and 27; Nov. 10 and 24; and Dec. 8 and 22.
• Approved hiring a part-time custodian.
• Approved the third installment of the Metropolis Tourism director administrative position, Year 7 grant, in the amount of $20,825.
• Approved the third installment from the fiscal year 2014 Metropolis Tourism marketing budget in the amount of $36,825.
• After suspending the rules, passed the Tax Levy Ordinance for fiscal year 2013-14.
• Approved PDC Technical Services Inc. be used as the environmental consulting services for the post-closure period termination of the Metropolis Municipal Landfill.
• Approved the replacement of a 25-year dosing pump for the Waste Water Treatment Plant for $9,834.80 from the low quote Straeffer Pump & Supply, Inc.
• Approved the replacement of a fire hydrant at the instruction of Second and Yasoda streets for $5380 — $4450 for a cast iron line from IMCO and $930 for gate valves from HD Supply Waterworks.
• And, approved the purchase of a 2007 bucket truck for the Light Department from Utility Fleet Sales in the amount $52,400.