The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 6, 2014

Aldermen to consider grant application

BY JENNIFER BAILEY jbailey@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE – City officials are trying again to win a competitive transportation grant.

The city council’s Public Works Committee will consider Tuesday night authorizing an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for funds for engineering, land acquisition and construction of the Danville Midtown Connector.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant applications are due at the end of the month.

City officials have identified the need to create multi-modal transportation opportunities between the Danville central business district and the Danville High School campus area, according to the resolution.

The grant would fund improvements along Jackson Street between Main and English streets.

The items would include: the remainder of the DHS campus improvements to separate pedestrian, vehicular and bus activities; intersection improvements at Jackson and Fairchild, Hazel and Fairchild and Jackson and English to accommodate pedestrians and align offset intersection legs; constructing a shared-use path from the Danville Mass Transit transfer station to the DHS and Fairchild shared-use path to also serve public housing and government service centers; and installing energy efficient lighting and sustainable landscaping with water quality improvements.

The city can seek up to $15 million, but according to Danville Urban Services Director David Schnelle, city officials are finalizing estimates this weekend and will likely be suggesting a lower amount at Tuesday’s meeting.

A 20 percent local match is required for the grant.

City officials looked at a more focused area to be more competitive in this grant process.

The city lost out in the past few years on federal TIGER grants, including for the proposed beltline and Jackson Street improvements. City officials are again focusing on Jackson Street, but south of English.

Aldermen Tuesday night also will hear a winter weather expense report.

Committee members will consider approving a budget amendment increasing the cost of snow and ice control supplies for this fiscal year by $57,000. The money is coming from the city’s general fund reserve.

City officials in January discussed $75,000 in additional overtime costs to tackle snow events this winter.

According to a previously approved city resolution amending the city’s streets division budget of the Public Works Department, the city had two large snow events earlier this winter that occurred on holidays and weekends causing the $60,000 overtime line to exceed the budgeted amount.

One storm earlier this year alone saw $44,000 in overtime costs, according to City Comptroller Gayle Lewis.

The overtime line item was increased by $75,000 to cover the estimated additional overtime needed for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

In other business, the committee will consider: approving the acquisition of right-of-way property for the Maple and May streets improvement; amending city code pertaining to construction in the right-of-way and also streets, sidewalks, alleys and driveways; resolutions amending the bond and interest fund budget; and other budget amendments such as for the fire and police pension retirement funds.

Coming Up The Danville City Council's Public Works Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.