Council considers changes to street plan

By Patrick Fisher Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council considered an amendment to its 2010-2021 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) at its Tuesday, July 5, meeting that would move up three streets to its 2012 project.

Before the council makes a final decision it will hear from residents at its next council meeting in two weeks.

Chris Cavett of Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc., the city's engineering firm, explained the discussion on July 5 was the first step in this public improvement project. The city originally adopted the CIP in 2009 and it was recommended the plan be reevaluated due to various circumstances such as further deterioration of certain streets or budget/funding priorities.

Those last two items were the main reason for recommending that three streets be included in the 2012 project.

• Second Street NW/NE from Highway 21 to Columbus Avenue

• Second Avenue NW from Main Street to Second Street NW

• First Avenue NW from Main Street to Third Street NW

Cavett noted about 20 percent of the city's streets are designated as municipal state aid streets and are eligible for state funding. Among those streets are Second Street NW/NE and First Avenue NW. The city is also eligible for an advancement of state aid funds to help cover the funding of these streets.

Mayor Chuck Nickolay asked if this recommendation will move everything up by a year? Cavett responded some street projects are moving up one year, others are moving up by two years. Also, Mill Street and Third Avenue NW are being removed from the 2012 street project to be done at a later time.

Mayor Nickolay also asked how the work on Second Street NW/NE would affect the flow of traffic to Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague (former Queen of Peace Hospital). Cavett explained the street wouldn't be done all at once, but in phases to allow for traffic.

There was also some discussion about the vacating of Church and School Street, which are near St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. Council member Dave Bruzek noted there had been some discussions years ago and the city had suggested the streets be vacated. He added it was probably not in the church's best interest financially to take over the streets.

Council member Mark Bartusek requested that when work is done on Second Street NW/NE that the east end be done first. His reason was because of St. Wenceslaus Church's Festival, which is held in August, to help with traffic during that event.

City Administrator Mike Johnson noted those were the types of things the city can consider for the project.

The council approved that a public hearing be held during its Monday, July 18, meeting.

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