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City goes after 2nd sidewalk grant, asking $207K
by Rick DeClue · News · March 01, 2013


West Branch will make a second effort to secure Safe Routes To School funds for sidewalk construction.


The grant request for $207,279 is due March 1.

If it is successful, the city will use the money to build 5-foot wide sidewalks on three routes:

• Fourth Street south of Northridge Drive to West Branch Mobile Home Village

• Maple Street near the water plant from Orange Street to the middle school

• Oliphant Street from Crestview Drive to just short of North Downey Street

These represent the priorities agreed upon most recently by the West Branch School Board and the city, according to City Council member Dan O’Neil, who headed up the second application.

The application cited the city’s purpose of encouraging walking and biking among the children of the community and improving pedestrian conditions on the primary routes to school.

The cost estimate was provided by the city engineer, Veenstra & Kimm. If bids exceed this figure or unforeseen costs arise, the extra will be the responsibility of the city. Grant guidelines do not allow contingency costs to be part of the application.

O’Neil said the city has $47,000 in its budget for sidewalk construction. This represents a 22.6-percent contingency for the proposed work.

O’Neil said he is fairly confident of receiving approval of the grant request, based on prior approval of $250,000 in late 2011 – which the city declined – as well as conversations with the Iowa Department of Transportation over the past year.

The city council refused the funds from the prior grant process over concerns about how much money the city might be required to provide.

An announcement of this year’s grant recipients is expected by June 1.

If successful, the city will complete the engineering and resolution of any right of way issues, solicit bids and move forward with construction either late this year or in early 2014.

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