City adds third bike plan to construction plan

A third bike trail was added to an existing construction plan at the regular meeting of the Vermillion City Council on Monday.

According to city engineer José Dominguez, the original agreement the city made with the state allowed for the construction of two bike trails – one along the Vermillion River, and the other along Highway 50.

"This proposal would essentially allow the city to complete the trail (along Highway 19) between Highway 50 and Cherry Street, so once this is eventually completed a person would be able to traverse the trail from Main Street along Stanford all the way to Dakota Street," Dominguez said. "This is going to provide a safer path for pedestrians, bicyclists (and) users in general, rather than having people walking or riding their bikes across the street."

Bids for the project will be opened later this year, he said.

Dominguez added that the estimated cost of the project is $180,000, not allowing for construction administration.

For this reason, he proposed the council set aside $225,000 for the project.

"This amount we expect to cover the estimated costs for construction, engineering and construction administration, and also provide a small contingency just for change orders and so forth," he said.

While the city would cover the costs, Dominguez said they would be reimbursed by the state for approximately 81.95 percent.

"The city would pay about $40,000 once all is said and done," he said.

The council members voted unanimously in favor of the project.

Dominguez added that while the project was not budgeted for this year, it will be included in the budget during the upcoming 2012 budget revision ordinance to be presented in September.

"Hopefully the construction might take place later this year," he said.

If it does not, project specifications will allow for it to be completed next year.

The city council also approved a motion to reject all bids for a project to construct a parallel taxiway extension and jet fuel system at the airport.

While the original estimate for the project was $500,000, the low bid received from Welfl Construction was high by approximately $120,000, Dominguez said.

A member provided to the council members attributed the high bids to a change in the specifications required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"The change requires that if asphalt already placed did not pass inspection, the entire asphalt already constructed would have had to be removed and replaced," the memo said.

"Prior to this change to the specifications, only sections that did not pass inspection would have been removed."

The FAA and the state both have agreed to allow the specifications could to be changed back to the previous requirements for the project, Dominguez said.

A new bid opening will take place July 31.

In other city council news, City Manager John Prescott announced an open house for Aug. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. where residents will be able to view a conceptual design for the new Prentis Park swimming pool.

"It's a little bit like some of the (Department of Transportation) open houses that they have," Prescott said. "There's not a formal presentation, but we will have the design up in a couple different locations, we'll have people available to point out and explain what different things on the map mean and kind of walk through this."

The open house will take place in the council chambers.

It also was announced Monday that Prentis Park will be the site of the annual National Night Out on Aug. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

This will be the eighth year Vermillion has taken part in the program, which aims to assist the Vermillion Police Department and the National Association of Town Watch in promoting neighborhood safety and crime prevention.

Detective Crystal Brady said food will be sold by Hy-Vee, and there will be activities for children such as train rides, games and inflatables, as well as live music.

"It was a great experience last year," said Police Chief Matt Betzen. "I would encourage you all to come this year, if for no other reason than to get a chance to throw some balls and sink the chief of police in the dunk tank."

Brady agreed, adding, "What National Night Out is really all about is getting out to know the people in your neighborhoods, the people in your community, so that you can work together to prevent crime."

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