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Monday, February 11th, 2008

Plans moving forward for work on Front Street and Deer Drive

By Margie Wuebker
NEW BREMEN - Councilors are expected to pass a resolution of necessity later this month in regard to the proposed reconstruction of Front Street and Deer Drive in the Teton Subdivision.
Village officials called a public meeting last week to update residents on what will be involved in the project as well as decisions that need to be made. The project should begin this summer and be completed in the fall.
Jerry McClanahan, an engineer with Mote & Associates of Greenville, distributed Phase I drawings showing both the original target area as well as an alternative that could be pursued if bids come in at a favorable price.
Phase I involves reconstructing Front Street between Kuest Ditch and Deer Drive as well as Deer Drive almost to Monroe Street on the north to the Fox Street curve to the south. The estimated cost is $400,000.
Village Administrator Wayne York indicated there is interest in adding the 600 block of Front Street, which makes a jog, between Deer Drive and Elk Street. The cost of this project alternative is $240,000.
York and McClanahan told more than two dozen interested residents that doing the complete expanse of Front Street sections would be impassible for several weeks. Consequently, people living there would have to park elsewhere and walk to their homes.
The reconstruction project involves not only new streets, curbs, gutters and driveway approaches but new storm sewers and polyethylene storm drain outlets that should alleviate drainage problems that have plagued the 30-year-old subdivision repeatedly during times of heavy rainfall.
"We televised everything possible," York said. "The sanitary sewer lines and water mains are in good shape. The storm sewers are not and that came as no real surprise."
The administrator also noted Vectren might be interested in installing new natural gas lines if there is sufficient interest. However, he added that remains to be seen given the rising price of the fuel. Additionally, new cast-iron style street lamps will be installed like those along Pearl Street, Amsterdam Road and the Cardinal and Walnut street subdivisions.
Officials hope to widen the current streets a foot or so to conform more closely with current subdivision regulations meaning the ideal 4-foot tree lawns would be trimmed back somewhat.
Subdivision residents will have to decide in the coming weeks whether they want all sidewalks replaced or just sections that do not meet safety standards due to cracks, pitting, twisting, sinking or heaving.
If the decision is made to replace all sidewalks, property owners with good sections would receive a credit toward their assessments.
McClanahan distributed sample assessments for homeowners with 80 feet of road frontage. The estimated assessment for total sidewalk replacement in addition to curb, gutter and driveway approach is estimated at $2,873. The amount would be approximately $800 less if only defective sections are replaced.
Residents would have 30 to 90 days to pay the assessments in full or have the amount placed on property tax bills.
It was noted people residing on corner lots would face larger assessments because of greater street frontage. Some people questioned the possibility of rebar being installed in the concrete to stabilize new sidewalks. McClanahan indicated the work could be done at the property owner's expense as long as the contractor is updated.
The resolution of necessity must come prior to advertising for bids in the spring. Construction would commence in early summer with paving to be completed before October.
"We want to get this all buttoned up by the end of September while the weather is in our favor," York said as McClanahan nodded in agreement. "The sooner we can get all the issues settled the better."
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