Danville accepts bids for Second Street bridge, Main Street sidewalk projects

Published 6:30 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

Danville City Commission moved forward this week with numerous capital projects that have been in the works for a while.

The commission approved bids for upgrading the South Second Street bridge over Clark’s Run; a downtown “streetscape” project; and a new access driveway for the south-end fire station.

South Second bridge

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Danville had budgeted to spend $200,000 to upgrade the South Second Street bridge, which has been downgraded in its weight capacity. But the one bid the city received from JAVE LLC was for $360,000. City Engineer Earl Coffey identified three reasons for the higher price in a memo:

• JAVE’s proposal includes a stand-alone pedestrian bridge to the east of the main bridge;

• JAVE would upgrade the bridge to have a weight rating of 45 tons instead of the 37-ton rating Danville had sought; and

• other potential bidders have said most companies have a “full slate of work” because the state is “aggresive(ly)” pursuing bridge renovation projects right now.

Chief Financial Officer Michele Gosser told commissioners the city has some leftover funding for parks that it can tap to help cover the added cost of the project, it would just require a budget amendment moving $150,000 from the general fund to the municipal aid fund.

Commissioners had the option of excluding the pedestrian bridge option, which represents $75,000 of the $360,000 price tag. They opted to keep the pedestrian bridge and voted to accept the bid and make the budget amendment.

Coffey said JAVE has 30 days from acceptance of their bid to present a detailed plan for the project; the company will have 60 days from when its equipment first arrives at the site to complete the project. The bridge will be closed during the upgrade; Coffey said the city will be alerting the schools so alternate bus routes can be planned.

Streetscape project

The city commission approved a bid for $689,760 from Bluegrass Contracting to complete a “streetscape” sidewalk improvement project for Main Street between Fourth and Fifth streets.

Coffey said the city has about $220,000 left in grant funding for project. Gosser said the city had budgeted to spend more than $600,000 on the Fourth-to-Fifth streetscape and another streetscape project for Main Street between Third and Fourth streets. The cost to complete the Fourth-to-Fifth project is more than anticipated, but the city has enough funds available to do it anyway, she said.

Coffey said he believes the city only received one bid because the same contractor had done work previously for the city and other potential bidders “bowed out” because they knew they couldn’t beat the price.

The project will overhaul sidewalks on both sides of Main Street, except at points where the sidewalk is already improved, such as in front of city hall, Coffey said. All electrical conduits will also be replaced, he added.

The project includes improvements to drainage and landscaping as well, according to the bid documents.

Fire station access drive

The same two companies awarded the bridge and streetscape projects — JAVE and Bluegrass Contracting — were the two bidders on a project to construct a new access drive for the city’s south-end fire station.

Bluegrass Contracting was awarded the project with the low bid of $99,500.

Coffey said the south-end fire station has rear access doors, but “we never constructed the rear access drive at the time, partly because the roadway system wasn’t developed when the station was constructed.”

Mayor Mike Perros wondered if the driveway was being added now because of the city’s new Ladder 1 fire truck, set to be put into service Friday evening.

“No, we’ve always wanted to do that and we’re really just now getting to it,” Coffey answered.

Other business

The city commission passed first reading of an ordinance needed to take out $10 million in bonds to help cover the costs of its new fire truck and construction of a new downtown fire station. The bonds were planned for in the city’s 2018-19 budget.

The city commission met in executive session to discuss possible property acquisition at the end of its meeting, but took no action after emerging from the closed-door discussion. Other recent property-acquisition executive sessions by Danville have been held in order to discuss purchasing land for the new fire station.

Commissioners also voted on the first reading of a property tax ordinance, which would set Danville’s 2018 property taxes at the “compensating rate,” meaning the city would collect relatively the same amount of revenue as it did last year.

Last year’s property tax rates were 14.4 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate and personal property (personal property is mostly equipment and inventory of local businesses; it doesn’t affect most people). The compensating rates for 2018 are 14.3 cents per $100 for real estate and 18.4 cents per $100 for personal property.

According to a memo from Gosser, the total assessed value of real estate in the city limits rose by $8.7 million, while the total assessed value of personal property dropped by $36 million.