Thursday, April 27

Fifth Street project contracts in tumble and polish process          Send a link to a friend

[APRIL 27, 2006]  It's come down to final details in agreements with the engineering firm leading the renovation of Fifth Street and an intergovernmental agreement between the city of Lincoln and Logan County. Lisa Krammer from Hanson Engineers, Springfield, attended last week's council session to answer and resolve any remaining questions on the most recent modified contract.

The county highway committee did not approve the intergovernmental agreement at their meeting this past month. City attorney Bill Bates said to Krammer that the city could not enter into an agreement with Hanson until the county and city have an agreement. The earliest that could possibly take place at the city level would be in an adjourned session May 28, one week after the county's next voting session, which is May 21.

The word received from the county was that the contract needed wording to show that the city would be pursuing and taking responsibility for their portion of the $5 million project.

The project can be paid for out of federal funds that go into an account for such work, but it would take many more years before there was enough in the account. The city will be aggressively pursuing specific funding that can be earmarked for just that project, city engineer Mark Mathon said after the meeting.

Currently $772,000 is received through a federal transportation fund recently released by the state of Illinois. Those funds, which were applied for five years ago, are to be split 80 percent to the county and 20 percent to the city for the project.

Of the anticipated $5 million project costs, the county is responsible for 25 percent, which is $1.25 million, and the city for 75 percent, $3.75 million. The city will be responsible for finding an estimated $4,845,600 more in funds for the project.

Bates addressed terms of the Hanson contract. He would not recommend that the city accept portions of the contract that were worded to limit Hanson's liability to the amount of the $1 million insurance. In particular the liability is in relation to unmarked utilities. Bates said they could agree to that wording for the unmarked utilities that the city controls, but not for the other utilities that are not the city's and are marked by JULIE. "Let them call JULIE and take the responsibility," he said.

Alderman Buzz Busby said he'd like it out. "We've had a problem with this before," he said, and he believed that the lawsuit settled.

Krammer said that Hanson prefers this in all their contracts, but he said, "We certainly want to do this work for the city of Lincoln."

The revisions to the contract were agreed to on the spot.

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Crippled Children's Fundraiser planned

Steve Klemm presented a request from the Elks to have their third annual Crippled Children's Fundraiser downtown once again. The fundraiser is held in early fall near the Alley-Bi in downtown Lincoln.

This year's hours have been shortened. Klemm said, "It's hard to get people uptown early in the day." The event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and last until 11:45 on Sept. 16.

Several issues of disturbances from last year were discussed: broken beer bottles, a motorcyclist that did a loud peal-out and music that went over the midnight curfew by several minutes.

Klemm said it was one individual, who isn't expected to come back, on the motorcycle and that they would be prepared to call police for any such incident this year. The broken bottles would be from people that brought beer out from establishments; the fundraiser sells beer by the cup. They would try to tighten security on that. And the entertainment time has been shortened to 11:45 p.m. This should eliminate a run-over, should an encore be demanded as it was last year.

Alderman Wanda Lee Rohlfs pointed out that this takes place during the Railsplitter. It may draw people away from that event.

Klemm thought they would be different crowds. He also said that they looked at other weekends, but there are a lot of fall festivals and any weekend in September would be in conflict with someone else's event.

The car show has been eliminated. Food service will begin at 4 p.m. and there will be music until 11:45 p.m.

"We're trying to do something good here and bring some people into Lincoln," he said.

Generally funds raised at the event stay local. Last year the timing was just right to be able to help children in Louisiana affected by Hurricane Katrina. The funds were sent there and used buy school supplies, books and such. The year before it helped buy a special wheelchair for a local girl. The funds will be kept local again this year, he said.

[Jan Youngquist]


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