The motion was to approve an expenditure to Farnsworth Group
totaling no more than $43,918 for the development of a street
maintenance plan using the PAVER software program.
PAVER – Pavement Management Assessment and Modeling System – is a
computer program designed with input from several universities
around the country including the University of Illinois. It is used
nationwide by many municipalities. Farnsworth Group owns the
software and had proposed that the firm provide the manpower for the
initial assessments of city streets, input the data into the program
and create a plan for the city of Lincoln Street Department to use
as a guide to annual road maintenance projects.
At the January 10th Committee of the Whole meeting of the council,
Gary Davis and Joe Adams of Farnsworth had explained the process for
the data collection and utilization.
The software uses a universal grading scale for city streets. The
grading is accomplished by collecting physical date including a
complete street inventory, and a physical evaluation of each street
within the city. The system takes into account several factors
including the type of surface and the general condition of the road
at the time of the inventory.
The men talked about how the city is currently investing its dollars
in fixing broken down streets, and perhaps not lending as much
attention to the streets that are in fair to good condition. The
point was that those fair to good condition roads need to have
attention so that they do not deteriorate to the point of needing
major repair or resurfacing.
Davis explained that the grading system included a scale that would
give the city an at-a-glance review of the road conditions. The
scale then could be used as the deciding factor on what roads need
Davis explained that streets with a score in the range of 60 to 80
would be streets in moderate to good condition, and that would be
the goal score for all streets. Streets that scored lower than 60 or
on the low end of the scale would be the ones that need attention in
the immediate future.
It was also explained that the lower the score, the more costly it
would be to bring a street back up to par. The suggestion was that
streets that score well not be ignored, but rather maintained, so
that dollars needed for repairs would be less.
It was also explained that in addition to providing this score the
program could be incorporated into the countywide GIS program,
making it easier for city officials to have a visual of the streets.
Adams explained that to collect the data, streets would be “cut into
segments” and each segment would be evaluated by Farnsworth staff.
The mapping of the streets would be a “one and done” time event.
Physical assessment of the streets would need to be done every three
years or so.
The third and final step would be to compile and deliver the data
analysis to the city. This analysis would then be used as the guide
to planning and budgeting street maintenance and repair projects
During the discussion of the topic, Michelle Bauer asked if PAVER
was the only program available that does this type of assessment.
The men said there is another program called PACER that has worked
well for some smaller municipalities.
Todd Mourning asked if there would be ongoing fees for the use of
the software. Farnworth owns the software and said there would be no
annual fee. However, if the city wishes to purchase the software and
manage it, then there would be annual fees.
This week when the item came up on the agenda, Rick Hoefle asked
that the vote be tabled for one month. He said the city needed time
to look at the program and also to research what other options were
Jeff Hoinacki said that delaying the vote would complicate the
budgeting process, and would put the city behind in establishing
this year’s street projects plan.
City Administrator Clay Johnson said it would put the city behind
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Hoefle then asked why Farnsworth had waited until now to bring the proposal. He
said the aldermen should have heard about this and had time to research it, and
could have if Farnworth would have come to them earlier.
Hoefle went on to say that he wondered if this was work that city street
department staff could do instead of paying Farnsworth.
Street Superintendent Walt Landers said staff could do the physical evaluations
and other tasks, but would need to be trained.
Earlier in the evening Wanda Lee Rohlfs had also questioned if this were a
project that city staff could perform. She noted that she felt it would be
better to pay local people to do the work over an out of town firm.
Joe Adams was in the gallery. Mayor Marty Neitzel asked him to come to the
speaker's table to address some of the questions from the aldermen.
Adams said that Farnsworth could indeed train staff to manage the PAVER program.
He said that was not his area of expertise, so he couldn’t say how much that
training would cost.
Hoefle said online research he had done indicated that the software would cost
about $1,000 and training would run in the vicinity of $2,000 to $2,500.
Adams said that sounded reasonable, but again he could not commit Farnsworth to
Hoinacki said he felt that Farnsworth had presented the best program to the
city. He noted that it was widely used throughout the country and had been
developed with university input, including the University of Illinois.
Hoefle offered a compromise to his original motion to delay one month. He asked
if the city could have two weeks to look into this further. Would that amount of
time put the city way behind in its planning?
Adams said that he could work it out, spending more hours on the project to
still get it done on time.
Tracy Welch had seconded Hoefle’s motion to table. He said that he wanted the
city to find solutions to projects that gave them greater involvement in the
process. He said he would rescind his second so that Hoefle could amend his
Hoefle rescinded the original motion and placed a new motion to table the vote
for two weeks. The motion passed with a vote of 5-1. Jeff Hoinacki voted “no.”
Hoefle, Kathy Horn, Mourning, Steve Parrott, and Welch all voted “yes.” Michelle
Bauer and Jonie Tibbs were absent for the evening.
January is a five Monday month, which means there will be no city council
meeting the week of January 30th. The two-week mark will actually extend to the
first voting session in February, which will be Monday, February 6th.