Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Improvements to sidewalks in the vicinity of Moonlight Elementary School will begin soon.
The Gardner City Council approved a $58,137 contract with MKEC engineering for the design of the project during its July 1 meeting.
In a report that was included in the consent agenda, Tim McEldowney, city engineer, told the council that Mid –America Regional Council (MARC) approved a $252,000 funding request by the city for the project.
“In 2016, the city applied for funding from the Mid-America Regional Council to replace sidewalks, fill in sidewalk gaps and make improvements to meet ADA requirements in the vicinity of Moonlight Elementary School,” he told the council.
McEldowney said the project, named Moonlight Road Safe Routes to School, will cover sidewalks from White Drive to Warren Street along Moonlight Road.
McEldowney said that city public works and parks and recreation departments determined additional needs that should be included in the project raising the total cost to approximately $464,000.
MARC will fund up to $252,000 of the project. The city will fund its portion of the construction cost, $212,000, from the Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund.
McEldowney told the council that the agreement with MARC did not include funding for design services.
“The city is responsible for 100 percent of the $58,137 to design the project. The cost will be paid out of the Infrastructure Sales tax Fund,” he said.
During the same meeting, the council authorized the city administrator to purchase six automated overhead distribution switches for electric distribution from Anixter Power solutions LLC at a cost of $129,629.35.
In a report, Gonz Garcia, utilities director, said the automated switches were safer and more efficient than the current manual switches.
Garcia said the 2019-2020 Electric Budget includes $200,000 for six automated switches for the project and the department plans to install the switches this year and incorporate them to the SCADA system in 2020.
By installing the automated switches, the city will no longer need to send a crew to the switch site to quickly restore power to customers affected by an outage.