April 23, 2014 — The Pershing Boulevard route for a new force main could save the city of Clinton some money compared to other alternatives. It could also cost 37 trees along the street their lives. The other option — routing through Roosevelt Street — has cost estimates of $3.6 million, $170,000 more (approximately) than the Pershing route.
Either way, updating the force main is a must. City Engineer Jason Craft estimated the underground line has been transporting wastewater for the last five decades. Last month, the main broke, spilling gallons of sewage into the Mississippi River. While crews were able to avoid a wildlife impact, to Craft this showed a necessity. Before that, plans for an update were already in the works.
"When we were first discussing this project, we talked about constructing along the existing force main," he said, Tuesday, during the city's Committee of the Whole meeting. That line currently runs along Roosevelt, and if that route is chosen, the new force main will be built roughly 10 feet west of its predecessor. "We thought, if there's another way to get from point A to point B, why not look into it."
Craft offered no opinion, stating he was doing work to save the city money, if possible. The matter first arose during Clinton's April City Services Commission, and councilmembers present weren't willing to make a decision then.
In the time since, several councilmembers have received much more community feedback from residents who live along the canopied Pershing Boulevard.
Councilman Ed O'Neill said he hand delivered several flyers to residents asking for their thoughts on the matter. While less than half of the 80 households effected by the decision took place in an open forum last October, O'Neill received numerous emails and phone calls in the last month. The prevailing opinion was "resounding," he said.
Now, per the urging of private citizens (some of which attended Tuesday's meeting), the council is leaning toward the Roosevelt route.
"I don't look at the Roosevelt route as $170,000 more expensive," O'Neill said, reasoning the city is getting a renovated street as well as a needed new utility. "I see it as a bargain. I don't think we're over spending money needlessly."
Uprooting the Pershing trees may save the city money, but on the back end, residents and members of the city's Tree Commission said it will cost them in the long run. The trees have shaded the homes for years. Missing them, Nicole Baker of the Tree Commission said, residents would feel the impact when their electric bill came through during the summer.
"The residents in those homes are not going to recognize it imediately, but in the next year after their air conditioning bill shoots through the roof," she said. "(The trees) provide a service to this community."
Another resident said that doing away with the natural beauty would decrease property value.
There's still time for a final decision, with no formal ruling during the meeting. The council voted 6-1 to place the matter on its next agenda.
Craft said the next step will be to hold public hearings on the matter in August or September.
How they voted
Here are the issues and voting results from Tuesday's regular city council meeting and committee of the whole:
- Resolution instituting proceedings to take additional action and approving the reallocation of certain unspent proceedings of the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2012C, of the City of Clinton. — 7-0
- Resolution accepting bid and awarding contract for 2014 Project Garbage/Soil Matrix Removal and Disposal to H&H Construction for $43,782.00. — 7-0
- Ordinance amending zoning regulations of the city of Clinton by changing the zoning classification of 801 South 3rd Street (Adcraft Printwear) from C-2 (Commercial) to M-2 (Industrial). — 6-0 (Julie Allesee abstained)
- Amended resolution accepting a one-year collective bargaining agreement with International Association of Firefighters Local 609 for July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. — 5-2 (Paul Gassman and Grant Wilke voted "no") — See ARTICLE: O'Neill presents CBA terms
- Resolution approving railroad track temporary use, maintenance and license agreement — Lincolnway Railpark - Part 1 in the city of Clinton. — 6-1 (Ed O'Neill voted "no")
- Resolution eliminating positions not approved in the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget. — 6-1 (Gassman voted "no")
- Resolution approving MTA Title VI Policy — 7-0
- Resolution approving addition of streets to city's emergency snow routes. — 7-0
- Resolution authorizing new pay grade for city engineer (Jason Craft). — 7-0
- Resolution accepting bid for 2014 Levee Mowing - Hometwon Landscaping - $2,800 for mowing, $60.00 per acre extra, and $400 at RWRF. — 7-0
- Resolution fixing a date for a meeting on the authorization of a loan agreement and the issuance not to exceed $380,000 taxable general oblicgation capital loan notes of the city of Clinton and providing for publication of notice thereof. — 7-0
- Resolution approving agricultural land lease with John Thomas. — 7-0
- Resolution approving a contract for City Attorney services with Lynch Dallas P.C. — 7-0 — See ARTICLE: New legal services agreement proceeds
- Resolution approving an engagement agreement for bond counsel with Ahlers & Cooney P.C. — 7-0
- Resolution accepting proposal and awarding contract for Project O-2013(B) 16th & 17th Avenue North Sewer Separation. — 7-0
Committee of the Whole:
- Action to move 20th Avenue North Pumping Station Project/Alternative Force Main Routes to next regular city council meeting. — 6-1 (Wilke voted "no")
- Approve request for proposals for prosecutor services. — 7-0