Construction begins on Center Street
CUTLINE: Elgin Center Street Photo: Ground was broken Monday, Aug. 5, for construction on Elgin’s Center Street Project. Pictured here on Center Street are (l-r) Councilmembers Jim Knobloch, Mike Baker, Sarah Schori, Sara Strong, and Mayor Bill Pfister.
Construction begins on Center Street
By Brian Smith
The Elgin City Council met on Monday evening, Aug. 5, after construction officially began on the Center Street Project earlier that day. The council continues to work cooperatively with MSA Professional Services Inc. to make decisions regarding the project.
Among the items that were discussed at Monday’s meeting were the type and shape of pavers to be used in the parking areas on the street. MSA representative Jake Huck had different types and colors of pavers on hand for the council to view. He suggested using L-shaped pavers in the parking area based upon their shape being better able to withstand the amount of pressure applied when vehicles are constantly making sharp turns on top of them.
“Their shape allows them to resist shifting better than the rectangular shaped pavers. The L-shaped pavers also should be more easily and quickly placed than the rectangular ones,” explained Huck.
The council agreed to proceed with the L-shaped pavers, but asked for some more choices as far as color.
“I would really like to see something that stands out from the rest of the street and doesn’t look the same. Something that really contrasts well with what is being used in the street would be good,” suggested Councilmember Mike Baker.
It was also mentioned several times that it would be desirable to try to match the pavers that currently exist in front of the clock tower on Center Street. Additional samples of pavers in different colors will be available at the next meeting for the council to review.
Joe Elsinger, another MSA representative who is supervising the Center Street Project, was also on hand at the meeting. He updated the council on the work that would be done during the first week of construction.
“We will be working on providing an area that will give trucks room to turn and follow the designated truck route and also begin working on water mains on the east end of Center Street,” said Elsinger, who will be the primary supervisor on-site for the project.
In other items related to the Center Street Project, the council approved a resolution for holding a public hearing on a proposal to enter into a General Obligation Street Improvement Loan Agreement and borrow money in a principal amount not to exceed $650,000. The public hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 during the next City Council meeting.
A resolution to set a date for a public hearing on a Road Use Tax Revenue Loan Agreement and borrow money in a principal amount not to exceed $325,000 was not approved. The council felt that doing this might hinder the City’s ability to pay for street repairs that might be needed in the future.
In addition to all of this, the council approved an estimate of $54,925 for professional engineering fees submitted by MSA for the Center Street Project.
City Superintendent Tom Martin presented information to the board regarding a surge protector and a generator, which have caused some issues during storms earlier this summer. He has been in contact with the company that did the work and it appears that they are willing to cover the deductible if it is submitted to insurance. If the issue is handled in this way it can be fixed at no cost to the City. Martin will continue to monitor that situation.
In other business, the council approved the appointments of Wilbert Schlueter and Frank Bergin to the fire department, as well as the appointments of Deanna Walvatne and Dave Prentice to the library board.
The council also approved one building permit and a request from a group at Hidden Valley to be reimbursed for costs (up to $1,000) for a concrete basketball pad for its park.
Finally, the council held a public hearing on Ordinance No. 316 regarding pay for the mayor and councilmembers. The ordinance amends the salary of the mayor from $1,800 to $2,400 per year. This change will become effective on Jan. 1 of the year following the election of the next mayor. Meanwhile, the salary of each councilmember was amended from $25 per meeting to $50 per meeting. This will become effective for all councilmembers following the next election. The council then adopted the ordinance in a unanimous vote.
The next scheduled Elgin City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 19, at the Elgin Public Library.