Roger Sims, Journal Staff
Mound City Council steps off from $440K sidewalk project
By Roger Sims, Journal staff
MOUND CITY – By failing to act on a resolution on Tuesday, May 2, the Mound City Council stepped away from applying for a $440,000 grant to repair and replace about 2,900 lineal feet of city sidewalks between Main Street south to Jayhawk Elementary School (JES).
The council agreed to apply for the grant at its April 4 meeting, however, it was obvious that several council members were hesitant. At that meeting, City Clerk Shelby Murray reminded the board that the sidewalks needed to be repaired and that it had been on the city’s to-do list for quite some time.
But with a month to listen to the objections of their constituents, at the May 2 meeting,
Mayor Wade Doering said that he had heard from many residents, including employees at JES, who were against spending that much money for the project.
Last month the council gave the green light to apply for a Small Cities Community Development block grant that would pay about 74% of the $440,000 project. While the grant would cover about $325,000 of the cost, and the city’s match would be $114,400 or about 26 percent of the total cost.
The new sidewalk would be 5-foot wide and would be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The new sidewalks would lead from Main Street to Jayhawk Elementary School.
While the anticipated cost was a point against applying for the grant, one concern that the council had was that children with physical disabilities did not have a safe way to get to school.
The project would upgrade or replace sidewalk on:
The west side of Sixth Street from Main Street to Locust Street,
The west side of Fifth Street from Main Street to Locust Street, and
The south side of Locust Street from Fourth Street to Sixth Street.
The Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC) would have received $25,000 for administering the grant, and that agency, which also administers grants for Linn County, would have been paid in six payments over the course of the project.
Taylor Hogue, SEKRPC representative was at the meeting to answer questions about the grant. She said that after the city is notified it has been awarded the grant, the engineering firm will draw up the specifications and will then seek bids from contractors.
There was some question about whether the eight-block-long project would actually cost nearly half a million dollars.
Murray told the council she contacted a La Cygne contractor for an estimate on the work. That estimate was about $100,000.
At Monday’s meeting, Doering said he could think of a lot better uses for that kind of money, and he talked about developing the city’s public works shop into a community center.
While he pointed out that children had been walking in the street to school for years, he also suggested that a sidewalk replacement project could be divided into smaller projects.
Part of the council’s hesitancy on going ahead with the project entailed the cost of having an engineering company design the sidewalks, which would be a considerable part of the expense.