Council narrowly approves agreement with Park District for trail project on riverfront

Posted: Feb. 25, 2013 11:00 pm Updated: Mar. 12, 2013 12:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy City Council voted 8-6 Monday night to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Quincy Park District to move ahead on a $609,000 project that would connect Clat Adams and Edgewater parks.

The project would include an 8-foot-wide pedestrian trail and bike path, security fencing along the water treatment plant, landscaping and lighting, and additional parking at Clat Adams Park. A new paved entrance also would be constructed for Edgewater Park and the Northside Boat Club over the railroad tracks along Front Street.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said the project is in the final design stage and is at least one month from starting the bid process.

"We are looking at a spring, summer project right now from a construction standpoint," he said.

The city received a $262,000 grant through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program and a $245,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Quincy City Council awarded a $52,000 contract to Klingner and Associates in August 2010 for design work on the project. The work was paid for with tax increment financing dollars. The city is committing $122,293 in TIF dollars as a match to the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant.

Dissenting were Aldermen Virgil Goehl, D-1, Glenda "LeXze" Mann, R-1, Tony Sassen, R-4, Mike Rein, R-5, Jim Musolino, R-6, and Terri Heinecke, R-7.

Musolino said he couldn't support spending the federal and state grants the city received for the projects, though the grants would go to other communities if they were returned.

"The trails are a great thing, but with the financial climate where it's at, it's just spending that money right now is a bad idea," he said. ‘It should be rerouted somewhere else."

Sassen said he voted against the agreement after receiving calls from people along Front Street.

"They didn't think it was a good use of dollars," he said.

Alderman Dan Brink, R-6, said the trail is included in the Quincy Greenways and Trails Plan that the City Council adopted in November 1999, which laid out a trail system for the city.

"It is a quality of life issue for the city," he said. "I believe the overall comprehensive plan is important to Quincy's future. Every segment is as important as the next."

Aldermen also approved a $34,000 contract with Poepping, Stone, Bach and Associates for design work for a new municipal parking lot at Sixth and Jersey. The city bought a 135-by-188-foot lot from Troy Mallory in June 2012 for $120,000, and design and construction of the 95-space lot is budgeted at $414,000.

The City Council approved buying the 135-by-188-foot lot from Troy Mallory in June for $120,000. At the time, city officials believed buried fuel tanks would have to be removed from the site before rehabilitation work could be done. Officials projected another $32,000 for removing the tanks and an additional $150,000 for remediation of the entire site.

Heinecke questioned why the city's Engineering Department could not design the lot to potentially save the city more money.

"I would like to request a list to see what we have on our plate," she said.

City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp said besides the day-to-day work, his department is working on:

º The St. Dominic School sidewalk improvement plan through the Safe Routes to School Program

º A traffic signal controller project.

º The South 21st Street sewer project between Jefferson and State streets.

º The Jersey Street sewer repair project between Fifth and Sixth streets.

º The College Street sewer repair project between 20th and 22nd streets.

º The Melview Road culvert replacement project.

Alderman Mike Farha, R-4, reiterated that the city also no longer employs an environmental engineer who could advise the city on such projects, whereas the engineering firm does.

"We have had in the past -- when finances were not so pressing and problematic -- environmental engineers in house, but it's been a long time," he said.

The City Council approved the contract by a 13-1 vote, with Heinecke dissenting.