DANVILLE — Almost 19 percent of the community’s residents don’t have their own vehicle and transportation.

Danville City Council Public Works Commitee Chairman Mike Puhr said that shows how important mass transit is in this community.

The committee met Tuesday night and recommended approving the annual filing of applications with the Federal Transit Administration for federal funding for Danville Mass Transit.

DMT Director Lisa Beith said bus ridership has gone up since July, with DMT crawling out of the COVID-19 hole.

Ridership in July 2022 was 31,900, and in February was 33,228, a 34.1 percent increase from February 2022.

DMT is working with a consultant about how to restructure bus routes to serve the most people with funding being decreased due to the city’s population loss. The population decline means less funding for DMT as it transitions from a small urban transit property to a rural provider. DMT is applying for a grant to fund a consultant to help with bus route alterations that will efficiently provide service in the most needed areas, Beith said.

The full city council will act on the DMT applications filing next week.

Also Tuesday, the committee recommended approving a $1.23 million contract with Cross Construction Inc. for the Ferndale Avenue pavement stabilization and resurfacing project. The project, along Ferndale from Liberty Lane to Poland Road, will be completed this year.

“This has been years in the making...,” Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said about the road being “terrible” and causing problems.

The city received other bids for the project from Open Road Paving Co. for $1.54 million and SNC Construction Inc. for $1.95 million.

City Engineer Sam Cole said the project was once estimated at around $750,000 years ago.

“That’s the going rate,” Cole said.

In other business, the committee recommended approving:

  • An amendment to the professional services agreement with Good Energy LP to serve as consultant for the electrical aggregation program. City Comptroller Ashlyn Massey said as times have changed Good Energy has asked for its service fee to be increased by a quarter of a penny per kilowatt. The fee is built into the process bid by electric wholesale providers. The fee will be amended to $.001 per kilowatt-hour. The city has worked with Good Energy since 2013 with it serving as a broker in the electrical aggregation program to get better electricity rates for residents. The city plans to go to bid day for rates on April 22 to see what rates are instead of waiting until the agreement expires in December 2023. Massey said the city is considering getting locked in now, instead of waiting until later in the year, because the market is in a good spot right now.
  • Accepting the donation of property at 925 E. Main St., an empty lot where another donut shop was near Beard and Main streets, from Danville Donuts Inc., the former Royal Donut owners the Hambleys. Cole said this is in line with the city acquiring land along major corridors, so the land doesn’t end up causing more blight and could end up in something useful.
  • Purchasing 921 Robinson St. for $10,000 from Rose Marie Phelps of Danville. Cole said the city is down to two properties to acquire for the Kircher redevelopment project. Demolitions could start this summer.
  • A $22,775 contract with Lipa of Indiana (Country Carpentry) for a Community Development Block Grant housing rehabilitation project at 1208 Gilbert St. A roof with leaks will be replaced, in addition to sheathing replacement and installation of roof vents.

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