Archive for Thursday, November 12, 2009

Council OKs added Kill Creek Road costs

November 12, 2009

In Mayor Dave Anderson's view, the $400,000 in stimulus money the city was given for next year's repaving of Kill Creek Road was like wining the lottery only to find you have to pay taxes on the windfall.

The city learned this month the stimulus money to resurface Kill Creek from 83rd Street to Kansas Highway 10 came with strings, which could cost the city as much as $95,000.

City engineer Mike Brungardt explained to the council last Thursday that it was learned last month bids for the project came in higher than expected. The Kansas Department of Transportation, which is administrating the stimulus grant, accepted the higher bid and passed the cost on to the city.

In addition, KDOT is adding a $22,000 administration fee and requiring an outside engineering firm monitor the project at the cost of $36,000.

The additional costs totaled $85,000 and could go higher if additional costs were identified once the project started, Brungardt said.

What was upsetting is that De Soto has its in-house construction observer, Brungardt said. And, had the city taken the bids, it would have worked with the low bidder to identify savings so that project could stay in budget, he said.

It was also learned the city would be responsible for added costs once the project but would have no assurance it could control on containing them, the city engineer said.

Although upset with KDOT's actions, council members agreed the city couldn't afford to turn down the stimulus grant.

City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said there was enough money in the 2010 capital outlay fund to pay for the project, although its use for the 83rd Street project could curtail other projects, depending on revenues.

It was agreed to fund the project temporarily with money borrowed from the electrical utility fund.

In a pleasant contrast, Anderson told the council a foundation associated with Huhtamaki Americas was giving the city $20,000. He asked the council for ideas about its use.

Among the suggestions were a donation to VFW Post 6654 to help with the facade to the post, a new water feature for the aquatic center and help with the historical signs Darrel Zimmeran wants to place on Peoria Street, Riverfest Park, Miller Park and Lexington Avenue.

City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said he contacted the attorney of Glavin Development about the status of the proposed senior housing complex. The council in September approved reductions in water and sewer development fees for the project.

Guilfoyle said he was told there had been a hang up with the project's funding. The funding would be ironed out soon, the attorney reported.

"I think we all saw that coming," Anderson said.

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