by Steve Peterson
Hawarden residents may have the opportunity to participate in a city-financed sidewalk improvement plan.
“Doing the street project (Central Avenue) and the trail system improvements that will be going in this Spring, and looking at the overall condition of existing sidewalks, and some areas of the community that don’t have sidewalks, this is being proposed to be considered. We can put some money to it next fiscal year. It’s a great opportunity for us to make improvements to sidewalks and give residents the opportunity to improve or install sidewalks at a fairly discounted price and work together as a partnership. It will be on a first-come, first-served basis. We would possibly give a loan of three years at five percent. We can do it annually based on what the budget numbers are and what we have available. It’s hard to say because you don’t know how many people will want to do this.
“We may also apply for a Safe Routes to School Grant for 16th Street to extend the sidewalk so people can walk on a sidewalk and kids can walk to school safely,” said City Administrator Gary Tucker at a Dec. 12, 2012 councilors’ meeting,
“Over a period of time it will make our community esthetics a lot better and safer,” said Tucker.
Tenth, eleventh and 12th streets all have some sections without sidewalks. The new trail system will go from Falcon Drive to Highway 10. Also repairs to sidewalks could be done
In most cases there would be a 50-50 split, not including removal, with the exception of a group a 60-40 share for a block and the city may pay up to 75 percent for Central Avenue sidewalk work.
“In a typical situation it will be a 50-50 split with the city paying 50 percent of the cost and the resident paying 50 percent,” said Tucker.
Councilors voiced support of the sidewalk grant program at the Jan. 9 discussion.
“I think it is a great idea,” said Councilor Tim Kurth.
“It’s a heck of an idea,” said Councilor Monty Harvey.
“It will depend year-to-year on the amount available in the budget. Some years we may not be able to do it, other years it could receive $10,000,” said Tucker.
After filling out paperwork the city will determine an applicants’ level of financial assistance. When the work is completed the city will inspect it for final approval. Any grants awarded will be paid directly to the contractor who performed the sidewalk replacement.
“We would like to encourage additional sidewalks in our community, They improve the appearance while providing a much safer environment to our children and others who walk for health, exercise or enjoyment,” stated the city’s program proposal.
A $3,000 maximum cap was suggested by Tucker.
In other city business:
Tucker announced that residents may follow various projects this year through a section on the city’s website, www.cityofhawarden.com.
Councilors, by a 4-0 vote, approved an official endorsement of request for Regional or Metropolitan Transportation Enhancement Funds, for the trail expansion this year. Councilor Patty Anderson was absent.
Wayne Schlotfeldt of Schlotfeldt Engineering gave councilors an update on the Central Avenue plans for the concrete overlay project. The area is 10th to 16th Street. Bids will be opened on Feb. 6.
Schlotfeldt said there will be opportunities for impacted residents to meet with contractors and city staff. The schedule calls for a May start and an August completion.
Tucker gave the first of several Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget reports, on the utilities’ budget.
“We may be in a little tighter budget than in the past due to a decrease in property taxes valuations,” said Tucker.
The budget will be discussed at the Jan. 23 councilors’ regular meeting.
In his report, Mayor Ric Porter thanked residents for keeping up on the snow removal and helping their neighbors.
Kurth said there are about 120 Hawarden 125th History Books available for purchase at city offices and banks.
Hawarden councilors meet at 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Hawarden City Offices. Meetings are open to the public.