Council agrees to change Chestnut Street light specs

Council agrees to change Chestnut Street light specs by David Lias The Vermillion City Council, after hearing a report on Chestnut Street from City Engineer Bill Welk, agreed Monday to include only cut-off optic street lights in the bid specs for the street project.

The lights will cost an estimated $7,000 more than standard street lights. But, Welk said, the cut-off lamps will allow the street to be illuminated without light beaming upward or to the side toward homes on the bluff above the street.

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Welk addressed several other homeowners' concerns in his report to the council:

* Potential damage to a sewer line. Welk told the council that some homes on the bluff above the street utilize an old line that may be made of clay tile. Welk said replacement of the line is included in the contract for the street project.

* Restoration of disturbed areas. Welk said the city's specifications for the street project calls for the permanent seeding of all disturbed areas.

"That's standard in all of our contracts," he said.

Disturbed areas will be seeded with a combination of wheat grass, Kentucky blue grass and perennial rye grass.

* Right-of-way width and the possibility of the city eventually ordering the construction of a sidewalk along the street. Welk said the street's design calls for a 24-foot right-of-way from its center line to the north.

"Because of the steepness of the bluff on the north side, we would have to excavate into the bluff and build in a seven-foot retaining wall just to be able to put in a sidewalk, and to put in the geo-grid that's needed behind that retaining wall, we would actually have to get more right-of-way than the 24 feet. Based on that, it's not even possible, with 24 feet, to put in a sidewalk."

Welk said the 24-foot right-of-way was specified because "that's what we need to install and maintain this road, the storm sewer inlets and the street lights."

* Erosion. Welk told the council that erosion above the street is primarily caused by water that comes down the bluff from rain and run-off from downspouts.

"Building Chestnut Street isn't going to let the water go up the bluff. Any erosion is going to come from the top down," Welk said. "The property owners want the city to accept responsibility for that, which would be very difficult. They would be asking the city to accept responsibily for something it has no control over."

* Truck noise. Welk said the city council could consider outlawing the use of jake brakes on trucks and lower the speed limit on the street from 25 to 20 miles per hour to help with this problem.

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