Citizens can offer views on river walk

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By Kristin Beck

Residents who would like their opinion heard before the Carrollton river walk project goes to bid should come to the special city council meeting 9 a.m. Friday at city hall.

City council members and Mayor Gene McMurry will meet with Heritage Engineering Project Manager David Eberenz to solidify the specifications so the project can be sent out for bid and construction can begin. The river walk will stretch from Point Park to the Point Park boat ramp.

Eberenz presented city council Monday with a copy of cost estimates for the project. The base bid includes four inch-thick stamped concrete for the 10 foot-wide sidewalk, re-paving and striping for the boat ramp parking lot, a concrete obelisk as a trail head marker and landscaping, totaling $235,200.

There are five proposed alternates. The first includes an overlook sidewalk with a handrail at the boat ramp parking lot, as well as additional landscaping and conduit for lighting at an estimate of $59,200. This does not include a retaining wall if needed, just flat work for the overlook sidewalk.

The second alternate includes decorative artwork to look like a compass at the point, concrete benches and extending the river walk from the boat ramp parking lot to the point for an estimated $56,000.

The third alternate is an estimated unit price for each riverside bump out and bench area, estimated at $3,200. This does not include the cost of the bench. The estimate for the landside bump out and bench areas (alternate No. 4) are $3,700 because of the additional landscaping. The alternates do not include the benches themselves. Council still must decide whether they want metal or granite benches, with metal estimated at $500 and granite at about $1,500 each.

The last alternate is for a concrete step seating area at the Jefferson Community and Technical College, estimated at $85,300.

All of the bid estimates included a 15 percent contingency.

After seeing the potential bid specifications, Councilman Robb Adams said he could see that they will be over budget if everything were included. He suggested changing the width of the river walk from 10 feet to 8 feet. “I just don’t think we need 10-feet wide,” he said.

Eberenz said this would save about $24,000 off the base price. The other councilmembers agreed on the change.

One piece that needs to be completed before beginning construction on the walk is pushing back the riverbank. McMurry said he and Public Works Supervisor Ronnie Knight will meet with Scott Martin Wednesday about contracting with him to do the work because Knight and volunteer Jimmy Supplee are too busy. Approving a contract with Martin also will be on Friday’s meeting agenda.

The city’s budget for the project is $250,000 – $100,000 from a dollar-for-dollar matching Recreational Trails grant it received at the beginning of 2012, $100,000 from the 2013-14 city budget and $50,000 from Carroll County Fiscal Court. However, City Attorney Ed James said he received a call from County Attorney Nick Marsh, who said the county’s $50,000 is on hold. McMurry advised council to keep this in mind for future discussions.

Moving the Dow Corning historic bridge will take some of the river walk funding. The cost to build new piers and move the 1869 antique is $9,500. The piers will be put in this week, and the bridge is set to be moved Aug. 19, the mayor said.

McMurry said the bridge, which will be set between 2Rivers Campground and Point Park, is part of the river walk and must be taken out of that line item for now because there is no where else to take it.

The Friday special council meeting also will include the second reading of two ordinances: one to raise the city tax rate and the other to adopt the model procurement code.

Council held a public hearing on the tax rate before the regular meeting Monday, but no one from the public came. Council approved the ordinance on first reading, allowing the city to take the compensating tax rate of 4 percent in property taxes, or 1 cent per $100 assessment. This means someone owning a home valued at $100,000 would see a tax increase of $10. The city has not raised taxes for the past two years.

By adopting the model procurement code, the city would be entitled to engage in competitive and noncompetitive bidding for small purchases of more than $500 but less than $2,000. The city must solicit responses from at least three vendors, but are not required to advertise in the newspaper.

The last item on the agenda for Friday’s meeting is deciding whether to approve the final payment to KEVCO for its work on the 2Rivers Campground bathhouse, totaling a little over $21,000.

McMurry said he had a copy of the approved electrical inspection, but did not have it in his paperwork for the meeting. Adams said he and the other councilmembers also have additional questions that needed to be answered.