Bill Ahal addressed
the council as the pre-construction director for S.M. Wilson. He
would like the city's assistance in considering closing certain
sidewalks and streets surrounding the junior high either long-term
or daily as they construct the new junior high school. Choices need
to be made in advance that will affect the cost and speed at which
the new school can be constructed. Public and worker safety also are
major factors in the decisions. He said these are only preliminary
plans that he was presenting, and the company is here to work with
the city council to do the construction in a safe and economical
The current junior
high sits on half of the block it occupies. The new structure will
take up the entire block. There will be a need for a staging area to
hold supplies, such as steel and bricks, plus other equipment. The
workers will need scaffolding to work on. The new structure will be
two and three stories high, and at times the crane will have to be
working outside in the street. The construction company would have
to use streets and sidewalks while construction was in progress. The
street and sidewalk closures could be done on a permanent basis
while the work was going on, or the closures could be on a
temporary, day-by-day basis. Doing the closures on a temporary basis
would take more time and cost the city more money.
The council raised
numerous questions and concerns that would be created by the
closures. Alderman Benny Huskins pointed out that a lot of school
children would be forced to walk or ride their bikes in the street
on their way to and from school.
Another concern is
the possible damage to the sewers. Grant Eaton said that he wanted
to check and video the sewers to have documentation in case damages
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Madigan said that he would like to see a comprehensive, detailed
proposal that included defined structure and dimensions. The company
will be going to the site and working with city department heads, as
well as Fire Chief Bucky Washam, to work out details.
The S.M. Wilson
company will then meet with the council at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 to
present a more detailed proposal. The council would consider and
make a decision about the proposal at their regularly scheduled
meeting at 7:15 on the same evening.
In other business
Police Chief Richard Montcalm asked the council to consider changing
the police officer's schedules from eight to nine-hour shifts.
Montcalm said that a recent survey conducted by the department
showed that 48 percent of Lincoln's citizens did not feel safe
walking the city streets at night. By changing the shifts to nine
hours they could have up to seven police officers on the street
during the crucial hours of 7 p.m. until midnight.
City attorney Bill
Bates said the city had just completed negotiations with the union
that included language on the hours of work. He said the city could
approach the union regarding changing the shifts, but if the union
said "no," that would be the end of it. If the union was interested,
they could renegotiate that part of the contract and draw up a
letter of understanding on new hours of work.
petitions on sidewalk repairs and a street closure for a fireworks
display on Aug. 23 the council scheduled several committee meetings
and adjourned. The city council meets again on Aug. 4 at 7:15 p.m.