Council orders plans for 2014 street work

The New Prague City Council approved a resolution at its Monday, Nov. 4, meeting ordering the improvement and preparation of plans for the city’s 2014 street and utility improvement project.

There were 14 people present at the meeting with a few present for the public hearing on the street work.

City Engineer Chris Cavett of the firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc., presented information about the work to be done next summer. He noted that the feasibility study is also available online at the city’s website. Cavett’s report showed the streets that would be part of the project.

• Third Street NW from Union Pacific Railroad to Central Avenue N.

• Third Street NE from Central Avenue N to Columbus Avenue N

• School Street from First Avenue NE to the alley west of Church Avenue N

• The alley west of Church Avenue N between School Street and Second Street NE

• First Avenue NE from Second Street NE to Fourth Street NE

• Church Avenue N from Third Street NE to Fourth Street NE

Work to be done includes sanitary sewer, sanitary sewer services, the water main, water services, storm sewer, curb and gutter, sidewalks and turf restoration. Cavett said some of the pipes that need to be replaced are cast iron.

Work along Church Avenue includes the narrowing of the street. Church Avenue is currently 40 feet wide, and will be reduced to 32 feet wide with residents gaining four feet of space.

Cavett said along First Avenue NE they are proposing a sidewalk extending from Second Street to Fourth Street NE. The sidewalk will be placed on the east side of First Avenue.

The project is estimated at a total of nearly $1.9 million. Of that 73 percent, or $1.4 million, will be covered by the city and 27 percent, or $504,769, will be contributed by the property owners through assessments.

Resident Chad Marion asked what it meant that there would be a benefit to the property owner. Cavett replied that it would increase the value of his property. Marion asked if that meant his property tax would go up. Cavett said the county wouldn’t flag it and immediately increase his taxes.

Council member Dave Bruzek said he had a concern about the street part of School Street and the street in front of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. It was thought to be a city street, but it was found to be a private street. He was worried there could be issues if the church decides to ask for it to be a public street.

Cavett said if those roads were made public streets, setbacks would have to be done on them.

The next step is for S.E.H. Inc, to begin the final design, plans and specifications, which will be presented to the council in March, with a request to authorize an advertisement for bids.