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Main Street work could be split over two years PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 18:35

Village Board to discuss new state funding proposal on Monday that restores 80% of reconstruction cost

The Village of Belgium Main Street and Public Works Committee recommends accepting the state’s latest funding offer for the reconstruction of Main Street that would stretch roadwork over two years.

The committee voted unanimously last week to accept the new proposal in which the state would pay 80% of the $6.9 million cost estimate, and the village and county would evenly split the remaining 20%.

That means Belgium would pay $690,000 of the project cost.

The new offer includes doing the work in 2017 and 2018.

“The downsides are somewhat extended construction costs. I see an upside as that first year the detour would be easy to avoid,” Village President Vickie Boehnlein said.

“It’s going to help with the detouring of the traffic if we do it in two segments,”  Committee Chairman and Trustee Clem Gottsacker said.

The new proposal is the third from the state as the project costs changed. After an initial cost estimate of $4.2 million, an updated estimate came in at $6.9 million.

Given the new estimate, the state agreed to increase its funding but not to the 80% level. Weeks after that, the state determined it could restore the 80% contribution if it spread the project over two fiscal years.

The village’s first payments on the project are due in 2018. Since some loans drop off in 2017, the village will carry a slightly lower debt service, about .2%, in 2018, even with the Main Street project.

“We can do this, even having the accelerated timeline, without having any tax impact to the residents at all,” Boehnlein said.

The committee also approved the Main Street reconstruction design as presented at the public information meeting last month, with one change.

The committee agreed to add parking on the north side of the street from Lar Ann to Highway LL.

The Village Board could approve the updated funding and design plan at its regular meeting on Monday, April 11. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Village Hall. 

The reconstruction project calls for limited parking to accommodate the addition of a five-foot bike lane, required because the project is partly being paid for with federal funds, said Tom Lanser, project manager for Gremmer and Associates, the project engineer.

From the west village limits to Elevator Lane, parking would be allowed on the north side of the street only. From Elevator Lane to Oak Street, parking would be allowed on both sides of the street. Between Oak and Lar Ann streets, parking would be on the north side only.

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