Consolidated council begins process for street work

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The Elko and New Market Consolidated Council unanimously approved an order for street and utility improvements in Elko at its Thursday, June 22, meeting.

Tim Murray of Bolton & Menk Inc., the engineer service that works with Elko, presented the request for the improvements during a public hearing, where there were nearly 30 people, many residents from the area affected. There are four streets that will have work done on them—265th Street East, Drew Avenue, Chowen Avenue and Ptarmigan Court. Improvements include the complete reconstruction of the roadways, water main installation, storm sewer construction, bituminous pathway construction and turf restoration.

The cost of the project is estimated at $446,330, with the estimated cost to the city ranging from $133,760 to $237,995. Murray said that assessments will be made to the properties in the area, which would be paid back over a 10-year period.

At an informational meeting held a week earlier, there were residents who responded to some of the ideas about the project and had some complaints. One was that 265th Street had heavy parking during baseball games, which made it difficult to use the street. The proposal includes widening the street.

There were questions about the work from the audience, with most asking what the share of the cost would be to residents.

Murray said that was still to be worked out. Early estimates have put the cost at between $7,500 to $11,300 per lot.

The city will hold an assessment hearing at a later date.

Sanitary sewer backup

The council also received a report about the sanitary sewer backup that happened in New Market on June 6. Bob Stark of TKDA, the engineering firm that works with Elko and New Market’s joint sewer board, presented the report about the sewage backup that happened in six homes in the Kelley Glenn housing subdivision.

According to the report, there was a lightning strike that happened either late at night on June 5 or the early morning of June 6, which caused loss of power to the main lift station. The lightning strike also damaged the automatic alarm system that should have sent out a message alerting staff.

Stark recommended there be changes to the system to prevent a similar problem in the future. Part of that change is to have a protected power supply for the system’s components. The lift station, which is going to be relocated to the north side of Scott County State Aid Highway 2, should have a standby generator.

The council accepted the report and approved work to make plans for the changes to the system.

Engineering contract

The council decided that in the future it will contract with Bolton & Menk, Inc., for its engineering services.

Residents of Elko and New Market approved a merger earlier this year of the two cities. As part of that merger, the council has had to make some changes. The two cities have had separate engineering firms. Bolton & Menk has been serving Elko and Thatcher Engineering, Inc. has worked with New Market.

The two firms have worked with city staff on choosing a firm. Staff members negotiated a contract with Bolton & Menk to become the firm that will serve the combined city. The staff also worked with both firms to develop a transition plan for engineering services. The plan, which assigns responsibilities with regard to current and future projects, was approved by both businesses.

The contract and transition plan were both approved 8-1 with vice chair Jim Friedges casting the only negative vote.

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