Highland News Leader

Plan for Oak St. in Highland now accounts for mailbox placement

The Highland City Council agreed to a new plan for upgrades to Oak Street after a previous layout favored by residents neglected to account for the position of mailboxes.

The new Oak Street will have two-way traffic and parking, but no sidewalk, according to the plan approved by the council at its meeting Sept. 6.

The city plans to upgrade Oak Street from Maxim Street to Lindenthal Avenue from an oil-and-chip roadway to pavement with concrete curbing and gutters. The reason for the various options is because Oak Street narrows from an unnamed creek to Papin Street, leaving only limited room for improvements over that stretch. The options for the narrow section vary in terms of traffic flow, parking and sidewalks.

The city held an informational meeting about the project in December and further solicited written comments from concerned citizens on three possible design options.

Earlier this year, residents along Oak Street said they preferred one-way traffic with parking on the west side of the street and a sidewalk on the east side. However, mailboxes were not taken into account with that option.

Currently, mail boxes are on the west side of the street. But that is where parking would be in option picked by residents. The issue with that would have been that, if a vehicle was parked in front of a mailbox when the letter carrier was there, that resident would not get their mail delivered. Mail boxes could not be moved to the other side, because the street would be one-way, southbound, which would put boxes out of reach of the driver.

The option also had another issue — right of way acquisition. One household was adamant they would not be willing to provide right of way if that option was the city’s choice.

In a memo to council members, Director of Public Works Joe Gillespie said a two-way street with parking and no sidewalk was the next most popular option. It was chosen to alleviate issues with mail delivery.

Other Council Action

Lights approved for HHS Tennis Courts, Troxler Ave.

Director of Light & Power Dan Cook recommended the council waive customary bidding procedures and issue a purchase order to Musco Sports Lighting for $58,900. The purchase falls under the National Joint Powers Alliance Pricing Program, which provides access to purchases through pre-negotiated government pricing.

During the previous meeting, the City Council voted to reject all the bids for the new lights at the tennis courts. Cook said all the bids were well above the amount budgeted for the project. The budget for the project is $60,000.

The new lights will be installed at the newly revamped high school tennis courts, and the public will be allowed access to use these, along with the school.

The council also approved to install new lights along Troxler.

“Since the improvements to the storm drains and the extension of the multi-use path have been completed to the portion of the peripheral route along Troxler, it is now time to install the lighting to match the rest,” said Cook.

The estimated cost of the project is $50,000.

Trash contract approved

The council approved renewing the city’s contract for solid waste remove with Robert “Bob” Sanders Waste removal. The current contract is set to expire on Sept. 30.

“We have contacted them concerning the renewal of this contract for an additional one-year term as we feel their services have been good for our community,” said Director of Finance Kelly Korte in a memo to City Council members. “They are willing to extend this contract through Sept. 30, 2017 with no changes needed for rate increases.”

Korte said she recommended the council remain with Sanders due to the level of service that is provided to the city and its residents.

Water Treatment Plant construction costs go higher

The council also approved a change order for an increase of $8,801.10 to the construction contract for the clarifier at the water treatment plant.

Included in the proposed change is the enclosure for electrical components and conduit material for wiring. The plan calls for the enclosure material made of powder-coated steel.

“We feel that stainless steel is a better choice for rust resistance and longevity,” Gillespie said. “The conduit specified is standard PVS material and does not have much strength when mounted horizontally.”

Engineering approved for trail, resurfacing Walnut

The council also approved engineering services with Oates Associates for the Sharpshooters Bike Trail and the resurfacing of Walnut Street.

The Walnut Street contract is for $24,500. The services include attending the pre-construction meeting with IDOT officials, limited construction administration, and construction staking as outlined in the contract documents.

The Sharpshooters Bike Trail contract was for $72,828.

The project includes constructing a 10-foot-wide, ADA-accessible, asphalt, off-street, multi-use trail from Highland Elementary School to Coventry Way. The route continues with an on-street bike route along Coventry Way to the Iberg Road Trail.

The project consists of earth grading, asphalt trail pavement, extension of the three-sided box under Park Hill Drive, a new cast-in-place box culvert for crossing Laurel Branch, a new cast-in-place double box culvert crossing Lindenthal Creek, street signage and collateral work.

The project is funded by the Federal Enhancement Program and Madison County.

Bid awarded for Silver Lake boat ramp

The council awarded the contract for the boat ramp and storage building on the north end of Silver Lake.

The low bidder was Mettler Development LLC in Highland in the amount of $168,364. The engineer’s estimate was $205,000. There were eight bids received and opened on Aug. 31.

Plains All American Pipeline, the company responsible for a July 2015 oil spill into Silver Lake, is funding the project. The need for a boat ramp north of Interstate 70 became apparent as work was being done to clean up the spill.

NFL Network contract inked

The City Council also approved a new contract between Highland Communication Services and the NFL Network.