Clewiston working on list of paving projects

CLEWISTON — Public Works Director Sean Sheffler told city commissioners at their Jan. 7 meeting that he has several projects in the works to discuss with new Interim City Manager Wendell Johnson.

“We have several projects that are on the board, and I look forward to sitting down with City Manager Johnson and the discussion of possible dates to go advertise for bids, get them off the ground and get them started,” Mr. Sheffler said.

“Is one of those a paving project?” asked Vice Mayor Michael Atkinson.

“The one on the top,” he answered. “Besides the paving projects and the sidewalk project, and the roof on the country club, and there’s just bing, bing, bing — there’s like nine different topics that you and I will have a good time discussing,” Mr. Sheffler added, nodding toward Mr. Johnson.

“What are you going to do on the paving,” Mr. Atkinson questioned, “Ventura?”

Mr. Sheffler responded that “initially we were looking at Ventura from what they consider a complete street aspect, where it would include the infrastructure under the paving, it would include reconstruction of the paving, lighting and sidewalks, to the tune of about $1.4 million, that we have applied for state appropriation funding for. At the same time, we are not at all certain that we will get it or, if it is approved to us, that it probably wouldn’t be available until the next cycle anyway.”

The department, he said, would come back with a “Plan A” — redoing Ventura Avenue without infrastructure repairs if the grant is not approved — or a “Plan B” that would move up Esperanza Circle Drive and parts of Arcade Avenue that had been scheduled to be paved in 2020.

“So we do have three projects laid out there. Which one would come to the surface to you would depend on funding and those other issues that are on the table yet to be answered,” Mr. Sheffler explained.

Vice Mayor Atkinson said, “Me personally, I’d like to go ahead and go with 2020’s paving project, so if we don’t get appropriated the money from the state this year, next year we do Ventura regardless. If we have to just overlay or if we get the money from the state, but we go ahead and do the project now. You know if we wait until July when they accept it or deny it, we’re only going to have a few months, and then your costs are going to be higher.”

Utilities Director Danny Williams noted that there were several water mains to be moved as well, “and they’re old.” Mayor Mali Gardner suggested the staff meet with the engineer and come back with a recommendation at the commission’s next meeting, Feb. 4. The commissioners are to meet for a workshop at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, but no action may be taken. “I’m prepared to do that,” Mr. Sheffler said. But he noted that Mr. Atkinson was right about the paving project for this year, that they need to made decisions on that “and our sidewalk project as quickly as possible before we get into the early-summer rainy season.”

Then she asked about Olympia between U.S. 27 and Ventura, whether there were hot spot repairs scheduled. “As an alternate to this project, depending on cost,” Mr. Sheffler said. He said it’d be added if estimates were under the budget, or if not they would ask the commission to consider additional funding.

He explained that the hot spot project was one of those nine that he and the city manager will discuss. “There are seven locations that I have identified, to the tune of just under 10,000 square feet of paving, that I’d like to, after discussion with the city manager, set a date to go to bid. Once we get a price on it, we will adjust how much we do to keep it within budget,” Mr. Sheffler said.

Commissioner Julio Rodriguez asked how much they’d appropriated for those repairs, and he said $50,000 was put in the road materials line item earmarked under hot spot paving. “The ones that I’m looking at are the median cuts on South Berner, and the intersections on San Luiz at Ventura and Sagamore (avenues), which are in poor shape.”

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