However, when Marty Neitzel, after hearing the discussion, asked if
the motion should be put on hold for a bit longer, Melody Anderson
responded, "not really," with David Wilmert offering his support to
moving forward now.
The discussion began with Mayor Keith Snyder
recapping what the discussion last week had included. The motion was
for removal of the bridge and placing some type of decorative
barrier on either side, with the work to be paid for with city
Snyder commented that Darren Forgy had provided a work order for
the design, and the mayor opened the floor to Forgy to explain this.
Forgy said that based on the discussions last week, he felt the
city hadn't really decided yet what they want to put up as a
barrier. He said there were a variety of options that could be
considered. He said he felt the best plan would be to consult a
landscape architect and ask the person to submit rough drawings of
three suggestions. He said that would add approximately $1,200 to
the work order.
Forgy told the council he'd also had a discussion on Tuesday with
the Illinois Department of Transportation for another option. He
said the state allocates federal money to individual counties from
the federal bridge fund, but they also keep a portion for
themselves. Forgy said his conversation with IDOT led to the
possibility that the city could get federal money directly from the
state to replace the bridge. He told the council this would once
again be an 80-20 split, with the city paying 20 percent of the
total cost out-of-pocket. Forgy said this was a possibility, but he
didn't have any concrete information about the proposal, although he
probably could have, within the week.
Anderson spoke up, saying that in the original six options
introduced by Forgy in January, the option the city is now voting on
is option 6. She noted that the estimated cost for design
engineering was $4,000. Now, looking at the work order, the cost has
increased to $6,000.
Forgy said the majority of the difference was in the architect,
but that the cost estimated for Prairie Engineers had also increased
However, there was also an option in the packet for replacement
of the bridge. The estimated cost in that option was $300,000.
Anderson said that in looking at it, the cost out-of-pocket for the
city would be $60,000 to replace the bridge.
She noted to the council that she does live on Oglesby, and she
hasn't had a lot of concern expressed by area residents over the
absence of the bridge. She said she'd rather see the $60,000 put
into repairing the street. She said the street is in bad condition,
and she felt that would be a better use of the funds.
Neitzel then asked if Anderson wanted the council to put this
vote on hold. Anderson replied: "Not really. I think we'll be prone
to have another option come up every week or two, the way we are
[to top of second column]
Snyder asked about leaving the abutments. Forgy said that was an
option they were exploring. Forgy said first that if the abutments
were left in place and a new floor put in the bridge, it could cost
less than the estimated $300,000. However, he told the council he
wasn't sure about that. He said he really hadn't gotten into that
option to explore what the costs could end up being. He said Prairie
Engineers did not prepare that option -- that it was done prior to
their appointment as city engineers.
He said the abutments look good, but he'd want a structural
engineer to look at them as well. If they were good, that could
bring the cost down. However, he also reminded the council that
getting the federal money involved would mean delays of up to
another year for completion of the project.
Anderson asked if the bridge could be taken out and the abutments
left there in case the city wanted to replace the bridge floor in
the future. Forgy said that was an option if the city wanted to go
Forgy said he didn't think it would save the city any money,
though, and could cost more. He said he believed the cost of
demolition would not decline by leaving the abutments and that if in
the future the city wanted to take those out, it would involve
Wilmert said what was being discussed sounded logical, but he had
to wonder if and when the time would come to replace the bridge, if
a new contractor wouldn't insist on taking the abutments out anyway
so they could build their own as they built the bridge.
Tom O'Donohue asked about the other bridges in the area: Were
they the same design and material and built around the same time?
Forgy said they were basically the same. O'Donohue also noted that
the bridge on Palmer, for example, is more vital in that area. He
commented that all bridges will eventually fail, and when that one
fails it will have to be replaced.
Forgy agreed, but he added that the probability of getting
federal funds for Palmer would be much greater than for Oglesby. He
noted that the loss of Oglesby inconvenienced only a few people, but
Palmer was of "high enough importance" that the city could probably
get the money.
When the motion came to a vote, David Armbrust voted against it
and O'Donohue hesitated a moment but voted in favor. Others who
voted in favor were Anderson, Kathy Horn, Jeff Hoinacki, Neitzel,
Jonie Tibbs and Wilmert. Stacy Bacon and Bruce Carmitchel were
absent for the evening.
[By NILA SMITH]