Council approves bids for sidewalks and park
The Stanton City Council passed the restaurant tax a couple of years ago, despite some people disliking the idea. Since then they have used the proceeds to improve the city park. At last Thursday’s council meeting the council decided to continue that trend.
By a unanimous vote the council approved a bid to completely reconstruct the park’s entrance and work on a roadway beside the Little League field. The company winning the bid also won the bid to put in a sidewalk on West Railroad Street.
The council approved the bids by Smith Brothers for both projects. The money for the park work will be coming from the restaurant tax, while the money for the sidewalk comes primarily from a Safe Route to Schools Grant.
The sidewalk project was one that Mayor Dale Allen had applied for grants at least on three previous occasions. The frequently used street is a major pedestrian thoroughfare for children who walk to school on the west side of town. Several neighborhoods and at least one apartment complex line the way.
The winning bid for that project by Smith Brothers was for $210,656.74. According to the engineer for the project, Blake Adams, the next lowest bid was $12,000 higher. “This is something we have needed for a long time,” Allen said. “But we have to wait on the bridge. The state inspector who looked at it the first time come back and found a more serious erosion problem. So he suggested we wait until July, with the new fiscal year the state will have more money available for such projects, and we can do it all at once.”
The bridge on Railroad Street was first noted as a possible hazard in 2002 when it was found that water had eroded part of the ground below it. A wall was built to reinforce the bridge and the weight limit was dropped so that bus would be allowed to cross. The city did the work back then. Allen believes that the emergency funds the state uses to help repair bridges can also be used to help this time/
As for the park project, Smith Brothers out bid Hinkle. The winning bid was for $36,329.08, while the only other bid was for $38,137.50. “Are the bids exactly alike, I mean as it foes for what needs to be done,” councilman Jerald Rogers asked. Allen advised he council that there had been a pre-bid conference at the park so all potential bidders would know exactly what had to be done.
Due to the increase in the park’s use and parking problems, the entrance has to be reconstructed. The other side of the park, near the small field will be opened up as well. “Just this summer alone, we have had over 1,700 hundred paying customers at the splash park,” councilman Tommy Mays told the council. “That’s paying customers. That don’t include the numbers we had at the Out of School Bash last week.”
The council continued to strike while the iron was hot. They approved a motion by Dixie Lockard and seconded by Margarita Arnett to advertise for bids to add a soccer field, another baseball/softball field and a t-ball field. They also decided to extend the hours at the splash park. The park will now be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. unless it has been rented out.
In other actions:
• The council also discussed the nee for a new police station and a city hall. The council was in total agreement that the current police station is not big enough and is a health hazard due to the water that comes onto the station if there is a hard rain. Also that the officers do not have enough room to store evidence like they feel is necessary.
Allen told the council that some of the loans and payments the city is currently obligated for will lighten up over the next year. Financially the city could be ready to look into building a city hall/police department on the property they own near the fire department on Court Street. The city owns a couple of houses that are currently rented and the land the police station is on now, according to the discussion.
The mayor believes that the city will be able to receive grants and loans for such a project. Council woman Pam McIntosh Topton said she wished there was something that could be done now to get the police out of the “unhealthy environment.” The city will look as possible short-term solutions to the situation until a more permanent solution can be found.
• The council voted unanimously to name the Little League field after the late Larry Hughes. Hughes was a long-time coach in the Powell County Little League and was instrumental in helping the league get and play on the field. “I had the honor of working with Larry and I have spoken to many of those who worked with Hughes. They all agreed that and had no problem with the field being named after him,” Tipton told the council.
• The council voted to approve and re-appoint Tony Morton to the tourism commission.