A sewer separation project will likely complicate parking for a few businesses, according to a report by City Engineer Jason Craft at Thursday’s City Services Committee meeting. The project is set to begin in 2012, but a few issues remain.

“We’re 99 percent there,” Craft said. “We just need a few odds and ends cleaned up.”

One such item was the changes to the parking situation on 18th Avenue North, in the 100 and 200 block. A sewer separation project to begin next year will require the street to be rebuilt. As it is now, parking perpendicular to the street allows for 20 vehicles to be parked in the area, near businesses The Head Shed and Wagner’s Pharmacy. Parking parallel to the street is the accepted norm for new streets, and will likely be implemented when construction is complete. This would reduce the number of spaces to around 12.

Craft heard concerns from the owners of The Head Shed and Wagner’s, who fear that the reconstruction could limit customer parking options. Parking from an apartment complex also adds congestion to the area.

Ward 2 Councilman Mike Kearney, who was present at the meeting, said that perpendicular parking, in addition to being unsightly, was dangerous. This is why new roads are designed for parallel parking, which usually doesn’t require motorists to back up into oncoming traffic.

Craft said there were potential solutions. One would be to just implement parallel parking once construction was completed. Another was to structure the street for angular parking, which would cost up to $50,000 more.

The sewer separation project is funded by an $800,000 grant with a $500,000 city match.

In other action, the committee:

• Listened to recommendations from Craft on the federally mandated Street Sign retro-reflectivity initiative.

Deadlines have been put in place for all municipalities to update street signs to be more reflective, for better visibility. Craft stressed that these changes and the deadlines were mandated at the federal and state levels, and apply to all cities.

“This is not dissimilar to anything Clinton County is doing or the Quad-Cities is doing,” he said. “We must do it and it’s probably best to get it done.”

Stop signs, arrows, directional signs and speed limit signs all needed to be replaced by 2015. Street signs must be replaced by 2018. The estimated cost of replacing affected signs in Clinton is $120,00.

However, Craft said that as long as a plan is in place by the 2012 deadline, the replacement deadlines are not likely to be strictly enforced.

He recommended setting up a four year payment plan, with $30,000 being spent annually from 2013 to 2016 to replace the signs.

The proposal was forwarded to the Committee of the Whole.

• Held a discussion at Committee Chairman Paul Gassman’s recommendation regarding vandalized property.

Gassman believes that some city-owned property that has been destroyed or damaged by vandalism does not warrant replacing. He also said that replacing or building new structures on the levee is counter productive, as most everything already in place was recently deemed an obstruction by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Several structures, including gazebos and park benches, have been vandalized or in some cases, burned. Gassman said that since many of these structures were rarely, if ever used, it did not make sense to automatically spend money to replace them.

Public Works Director Gary Schellhorn and City Administrator Jeff Horne both agreed with Gassman’s recommendation to place a moratorium on building new items on the levee, until a solution for the encroachments is resolved.

Gassman asked city officials to come up with a policy recommendation for property destroyed by vandalism that would allow the city to reject replacing things determined to be unnecessary.

• Forwarded a recommendation for bike path cameras on to the Committee of the Whole.

The bid by Security Equipment, Inc. of $50,000 was significantly lower than its competitors.

The decision, including whether to even pursue the purchase of bike path cameras in light of the city’s financial struggles, will be considered by the Committee of the Whole.

“It’s something the whole council can look at and decide,” Gassman said.

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