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Council approves road project
November 22, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

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In a special session on Monday, the Gering City Council approved a resolution for a federal aid street project on 10th St.

The $990,867 project was awarded to Simon Contractors for new curb and gutter work, along with mill and overlay of 10th St. from the south side of Stable Club Road to the river bridge. Sidewalks will also be installed on both sides of 10th St. Currently, the west side of the street, south of the river bridge, has minimal sidewalks.

Casey Dahlgrin, the city’s transportation superintendent, said the cost of the project will be shared with Scotts Bluff County because the west side of 10th St. is in their jurisdiction. Each entity will need to come up with 20 percent of their portion of the cost, with federal highway funds covering the remaining 80 percent.

“The council already approved the project,” Dahlgrin said. “They just needed to award the bid.”

He added there will be some congestion with traffic because the Scottsbluff-Gering Highway has an average daily traffic count of 13,000 cars.

“We’ll have one lane open so traffic can get through and business entrances can remain open,” Dahlgrin said. “The only time we’ll have problems is when we lay the asphalt on the outside lanes.”

The project is scheduled to start July 15, once Oregon Trail Days are over. Estimated completion date is late August 2013. Dahlgrin said that stretch of 10th St. is long overdue for repairs, as the last resurfacing work was done in the mid-1990s. Money for the project has already been budgeted.

“Money for the project has been there for the past two years,” Dahlgrin said. “It was meeting all the environmental requirements that slowed us down.”

The 10th St. project was the only business on the special meeting agenda. However two committees met prior to full council action. One ad hoc committee organized to address recent complaints about vicious dogs met with several people from the community.

Committee and city council member Don Christensen said they didn’t discuss whether to make any changes to the current ordinance. That ordinance addresses vicious dog complaints as they happen.

Rumor has spread that the city wants to ban certain breeds of dog that are deemed vicious. Christensen said that’s not the case. He said this is an opportunity to offer more education programs to the public that would help encourage responsible dog ownership.

The city’s Recreation Committee also met prior to the special council meeting. City Treasurer John Mejia recommended shifting funds coming from electricity revenues on some of the properties adjacent to the golf course, then using those funds to service the remaining debt on the golf course.

“There’s no current problem with servicing the debt,” said council member Larry Gibbs.

“We’re trying to be proactive before there is. Our Tax Increment Financing money on most of the housing is expected to run out in a few years and we still have about 12 years left on the debt.”

Gibbs said moving the electrical
funds into paying off the debt might remain in place until the debt is retired.
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