The city council’s finance committee gave no recommendation to a proposed street paving project contract on Tuesday, seeking clarification from the city administration ahead of tonight’s council meeting.
The offer is from Big Rock Paving for $856,691.
But during a discussion led by committee chairwoman Liz Miele, the administration was asked to consider whether it wanted to reduce the paving project by a few streets or increase the paving project with additional funds for the liquid fuels available.
“The city is short of $58,000”, Miele said, reviewing the calculation of what is available in Community Development Block Grant funding and liquid fuels.
“The paving project looks exciting, but we need to be sure how we do it,” Miele said.
She added that she wanted Mayor Derek Slaughter’s assurance as to the direction the administration has chosen to take and that the rest of council receive a financial plan on how the city intends to pay for the project.
Liquid fuel bottoms are regulated by the State Department of Transportation and must be done on the roadway. Works include paving, storm water, street lighting, traffic lights or pavement maintenance equipment. It’s broken down by category, such as only $170,000 per year for major equipment purchases.
The city administration, through Adam Winder, general manager of River Valley Transit and former general manager and acting general manager of the public works department, said there was $907,000 available in liquid fuels.
He added, “This year’s allocation will likely have about $200,000 left over.”
City engineer Jon Sander explained that the proposal is to use $1.7 million for the paving contract.
In reviewing the proposed contract, Councilor Randall J. Allison noted that the company’s offer for storm sewers and manhole adjustment was inferior to other offers.
“I assume they have items in stock and they don’t need to buy them,” said Sander.
Also, concrete curbs and sidewalks should be contracted out.
Big Rock Paving was awarded two years ago and sub-contracted the work. Last year, Glenn O. Hawbaker was the contractor and replaced the concrete work, Sander said.
Sander further plans to use the services of a building inspector on the proposed project.
As part of the overall project, the city would like to have installed accessible sidewalk ramps around Commerce and Transit I and II and near the Center for Independent Living: Roads to Freedom building as well as other areas of the city. , Sander said.
CDBG and other non-CDBG funds, he said, can be used for street paving.
There are other projects the city can use the cash surplus funds on, but Sander said road paving is a perfect use of the funds.
Miele didn’t disagree, however, it wanted to see the entire financial package and the administration’s rationale for using the additional liquid fuels funds before approving Big Rock’s proposed bid. Other committee members, including Eric Beiter, council chairman Adam Yoder and Allison, accepted and forwarded the motion without a recommendation until the update was available from the city administration.