Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Carroll City Council members Monday approved preliminary plans for Phase 6 of the Corridor of Commerce, streetscape and related work along U.S. 30.

The scheduled work this year will take place on U.S. 30 from West Street to Carroll Street and Main Street to Clark Street. Plans also call for paving the alley north of U.S. 30 between Carroll Street and Adams Street.

“I think this will be a very nice enhancement for those that are in this area,” said Mayor Adam Schweers.

Schweers noted that Culver’s restaurant CEO Craig Culver complimented the attractiveness of the city, and specifically referenced the Carroll Depot Business Center area, during a ground-breaking two weeks ago.

The estimated cost of the Corridor project is $1.063 million and would be paid for using tax-increment financing in which added value in the city’s existing urban-renewal zone is taxed to pay for the public infrastructure improvements for a period of time before flowing into general-use coffers. The properties in the urban-renewal boundaries are taxed at the same rate they would be in other circumstances. There is no tax hike or break.

Bids for the project are expected to be received on June 20. Work is expected to start in July and be completed this year.

“As construction goes I would say right up to the end of construction season in early November,” said City Public Works director Randy Krauel.

Traffic east and west on U.S. 30 will be reduced to one lane during much of the construction — as it was for Corridor of Commerce Phase 5 on U.S. 30 from Carroll Street to Main Street.

Councilman Tom Tait suggested removing about $250,000 from the project cost for crosswalks that include brick pavers, part of the overall design in the Corridor developed by Confluence, a Des Moines landscape architecture firm. The $250,000 cost is not just for the pavers but for the crosswalk pavement re-development as well.

“You save a quarter-million dollars by not putting them in,” Tait said.

Tait added, “If I were doing it by myself, I’d probably take them out. That’s why I’m asking.”

Councilman Jeff Scharfenkamp said Tait made a reasonable point but it makes sense to get the full bid first and then decide what, if anything to remove.

Councilwoman Carolyn Siemann said Carroll residents have approached her with concerns about the brick-paver work.

“I think we should seriously consider scaling back closer to the original plan based on what I am hearing from people in the public,” Siemann said.

In other business the council:

— Accepted the resignation of John Knorr from the Carroll Airport Commission.

— Approved the appointment of Chad Jensen to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Advisory Board for a term that ends in May 2015.