Posted on: August 4, 2022 Posted by: AKDSEO Comments: 0

LISTENING — City Manager Jim Mavromatis listens Tuesday as council weighs in on Beatty Park bridge repair funding sources. — Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — City Council got its first look Tuesday at the preliminary design proposal for the Beatty Park Bridge project, but has already decided to nix the most costly of the three repair options from the job.

City Engineer Mike Dolak told council he plans to recommend they hire Burgess & Niple to provide professional engineering services for Phase I, which consists of a structure type study and related tasks. The firm’s projected lump sum cost was $76,748, but that was before council decided to eliminate the most costly of the three options — removing and reconstructing the original bridge, stone-by-stone.

“(That) option is somewhat unrealistic, it’s taking each stone down one-by-one and marking it and then rehabilitating it,” Dolak said. “It’s somewhat unrealistic to do, with the cost. There would be some savings there, possibly $10,000-$15,000 off the $76,000.”

Burgess & Niple’s proposal calls for a site visit, field survey control and topographic study, high-definition, 3D laser scan and post processing, as well as survey base mapping. Dolak said he’d recommend they do an architect’s rendering of the two options, and said they’d have to do an environmental review to “see what type, if any, endangered species we have in that stream” along with a cultural resources review looking at any historical red flags they might encounter.

They’d also do cost comparisons of the remaining options — replacing the existing bridge with a pre-cast arch-top culvert “more or less with 20th century materials which we could stamp, sandstone in color, and take some of the existing features on the bridge and transpose (them) on the new bridge, or rehabilitating the existing stone arch bridge.

During the discussion Dolak had said they could use American Rescue Program funds for the study, which triggered an instant reaction.

“Are you requesting or are you saying?” 4th Ward Councilman Royal Mayo asked.

“I’m requesting, I guess,” Dolak replied.

“Because this council decided we weren’t going to spend any of that money until we came in with a budget,” Mayo replied. “We were a million or so over from previous years, so let’s not talk about spending ARPA funds until we decide where we’re going to spend that (carryover).”

Councilwoman at large Kimberly Hahn said if memory served the city ended 2021 with about a $1.5 million carryover, and suggested they draw from those funds to pay for the preliminary design services and then use ARPA dollars to pay for the actual bridge repairs.

“Can we wait until next week when we have (Finance Director) Dave Lewis here and you can ask him these questions and he can answer?” 5th Ward Councilman Willie Paul interjected, reminding council he’d called a finance committee meeting for 6 p.m. Aug. 2 to discuss how they intend to spend their ARPA funds.

Lewis, he’d said, “will show us what we’ve already spent, what we had lined up, then we can pick it apart after that.”

“Like Willie said, we’re having a (finance) meeting next week,” Councilman Michael Hernon added. “I don’t think it impedes anything” to wait a week.

“My only concern was we had decided we weren’t going to start spending those funds, he specifically said’ take it out of those funds’, that’s why I raised the questions,” Mayo said.

“We had discussed it that one other time, that was one of the things we were going to take the money from — you’ll see next week, he’s going to have a breakdown of everything.”

Dolak said he’ll request a revised price quote for the meeting, adding it will take Burgess & Niple about three months to complete the study.

In other business:

— Third Councilman Eric Timmons sunshined emergency legislation authorizing the city manager to sign an amendment to Task Order No. 12, Spahn’s Branch sewer emergency response, with HDR Engineering for the sewer repair. Utilities Director Chuck Murphy warned council the fix is going to cost in the neighborhood of $1.1 million.

— Paul called for a closed-door meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 to close out the annual audit.

— Council heard second readings of an ordinance authorizing the city to advertise for vacant building registration administrative services and accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorities the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor; first reading of an ordinance amending the language of the vacant property registration ordinance to use termination of water service as one of the yardsticks by which a property’s status as vacant can be gauged.

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