‘Audibles’ on street projects leads to anticipated cost overages

Dave Marner
Managing Editor

Several major street rebuilding projects undertaken this summer by city Public Works employees will potentially require a budget amendment, Owensville aldermen were informed on Monday.

Jeff Kuhne, the city’s Public Works director, told the full board at their Aug. 19 meeting that “we’re going to be over budget” due to costs to rebuild several damaged streets and correct problems with the one in front of City Hall.

City workers earlier this summer completed repairs and rebuilding on a block of South Seventh near West Jackson and the infamous dip heading out onto Route EE at the city limits.

Extensive roadway base was added to two sections West Monroe including portions of the 300 block and much of the 400 block. 

“It turned out to be a lot bigger project than we anticipated,” Kuhne told aldermen on Monday, noting they had to “call a few audibles” along the way during the work in the 400 block of West Monroe.

Where plans initially called for  only doing sections of the eastern most portion of the 400 block of West Monroe, once they had opened up the western half of the block, they went ahead and did a complete dig out of the eastern portion of the block as well.

“There’s was lot of that mud there,” he told aldermen.

Kuhne expected they would be approximately $36,000 over, “ball park,” the $166,758 there was in the line item for street work. Part of that will be the $25,000 in concrete costs needed to complete the section of  West Sears from First Street to in front of City Hall.

“We’re not going to meet that,
 said Kuhne of the allotted figure in the line item. “We’re going to be over.”

Work on West Sears project began earlier this week as the city will attempt to correct drainage issues in that section of the block. The roadway also has an excessive crown which makes parking, and exiting a parked vehicle, difficult beside Bogey’s Sports Bar.

Kuhne said they expect to spend $20,000 from the city’s budget for curb and gutter work on the West Sears project.

A portion of the street had new curbs and gutters installed previously but work was halted to conduct additional engineering and planning to correct drainage issues.

Elected officials did not seem too concerned about the news even though it is only mid-August on a fiscal budget year which only began July 1. “It will be an accounting issued,” said Mayor John Kamler.

City Clerk Bobbi Limberg noted they could make a budget amendment if needed sometime “mid-year.”

Once the rebuilding work is completed, Capital Paving will install an asphalt overlay on these roads. Capital Paving was awarded a $119,800 contract for the work which is expected to be completed some time in September once the city crew completes its project on West Sears.

The work includes paving Seventh from Highway 28 to Jackson.

 Kuhne has kept them apprised of the work needed to make these repairs. Ward 1 Alderman Kevin McFadden spent part of a morning visiting the West Monroe project to get a better understanding of the situation.

McFadden has suggested forming a committee to review funding options for future projects which would require creating better bases for roadways. Among those streets mentioned in recent weeks needing such attention is Link Avenue on the city’s north end.