Highland News Leader

Highland hires engineers to help plan a new look for Broadway

An aerial view of the Square in downtown Highland.
An aerial view of the Square in downtown Highland. File photo

The city has commissioned preliminary engineering services for a project the will help give a section of Broadway a $1.8 million facelift.

A preliminary engineering agreement with Oates Associates, Inc. was approved by the Highland City Council during its meeting on Sept. 4. The Collinsville engineering firm will provide services needed for the first section of the Broadway Streetscape Project.

City Manager Mark Latham said the project is in an effort to encourage more business development in downtown Highland.

“It’s going to look really nice,” Latham said.

The first phase of the project focuses on the section of Broadway between Poplar and Laurel Streets.

New sidewalks and curbing will be constructed to make the area accessible and compliant with the American’s with Disabilities Act.

Latham also said that new landscaping, as well as the installation of antique-styled wayfarer signage and light posts will help to enhance the park-like feel around the Square.

“It’ll soften it up,” Latham said.

All in all, the project’s first half is estimated to cost about $1.8 million, according to Latham.

In May, Latham announced that the city was awarded about $1.4 million by the Federal Enhancement Program to help fund the project. However, he said the funds must be used in 2019.

“We’re going to have to get going on this,” Latham said.

Outside of the grant money, Latham said the project will be paid with Madison County and non-home rule sales tax funds.

Moving forward, Oates Associates will conduct a topographic survey. The firm will also develop a CEII project development report, plans, specification, and estimates. The firm will also help determine existing right-of-way limits according to federal-aid design policies.

The services are estimated to cost the city about $192,000, according to a letter from Oates Associates.

Latham said that the city hopes to begin construction on the project next summer.

Once this project is complete, Latham said the city will apply for more funds to improve past Laurel Street.

Other business

Jurisdiction transfer

The council approved an ordinance that transfers jurisdiction for an area of right-of-way in the city’s roundabout project.

The project, which will be at the intersection of Broadway, Iberg Road, and Veterans Honor Parkway, encompasses a section of St. Rose Road. The ordinance establishes maintenance rights and responsibilities for an area of right-of-way, which extends from the west right-of-way line of Iberg Road and to the end of storm sewer pipes on the north side of St. Rose Road, which is already maintained by the city.

“The city should have control of the property it improves,” said Director of Public Works Joe Gillespie.

Waste contract

The city renewed a solid waste removal contract with Robert “Bob” Sanders Waste Removal.

Latham said the city has worked with the waste removal company for several years and the city believes the service is a good fit for the community.

“They’ve done a good job,” Latham said.

Though the contract includes a few rate increases, the city’s Director of Finance Kelly Korte said the slight changes are not enough to require the city to increase customer bills. She said this is the first time since 2015 that the provider’s rates have changed.

Bond counsel

The council approved a resolution that allows the city to retain GilmoreBell as bond counsel.

The city recently selected Stern Brothers & Co for the financing institution for the city’s water main improvement project. The agreement with Stern Brothers requires the city to use bond counsel services to prepare and review the financing documents, according to Korte.

GilmoreBell is a public finance law firm. The city has used the firm’s services for the past issuance of bonds and is satisfied with the level of service they provide, according to Korte.

At the recommendation of Joy Howard, a financial advisor with WM Financial Strategies, and city staff, Korte said an engagement agreement was requested from GilmoreBell for assistance with these requirements. The firm’s fee for bond counsel service is $7,500, according to a proposal letter from the firm.

Change of order approved

The council approved balancing a change order for about $7,885, in relation to a completed project that relocated a water main transmission line located on Matter Drive by Trouw Nutrition.

Director of Public Works Joe Gillespie said the change order balances contract quantities with the actual field measured quantities needed to complete the project.

This project uses water funds from fiscal year 2019, according to Gillespie.