Will Ravenstein

Wellington Daily News

The Wellington City Council passed a resolution, 4-3 with Wellington Mayor casting the tie-breaking vote, Tuesday authorizing the funding for the Westborough street project.

Early estimates from engineers placed the project at $1,085,000 to construct a road base, asphalt pavement and other minor street improvements with the exception of curbing, designed to City standards, requested by a petition submitted by residents.

City Manager, Shane Shields, informed the council that the two bids received, APAC and Cornejo and Sons, were opened on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The bid by APAC stated a cost of $665,255.00 for the project as presented.

“Staff proceeded to try to align a contract in-line with council and resident direction,” Jeremy Jones, Public Works Director said. “We did open bids Thursday, APAC and Cornejo. APAC was considerably lower than both the engineers estimate and Cornejo. We have a notice to award or start date that would be no earlier than March 1, 2018 and no later than April 16, 2018. With 60-days for substantial completion and 75-days for final completion.“

Jones did mention that some curbing will be replaced, but is limited to that in the intersections.

“I did want to put out, like I did in the memo, there would be some replacement of curbing in there,” Jones said. “The direction we got was no curbing on the project. Through the design phase we did see there was a little of 1,000 linear feet of curbing that really needed to be replaced, for one reason or another. The majority of that is within the medians. The island medians within the development.”

Jones informed the council that some minor curbing would be changed on the properties as well.

“This is either because the structure of the curbing has settled and is virtually flat, or it’s settled and is a ponding location,” he said. “PEC limited it as much as possible what they did with the curbing, but they did improve the drainage in the area. As best we could. We anticipate that we will get some ponding, but hope it’s less with this little bit of curbing that will be replaced.”

Hansel verified that the funds being stated were included in an earlier resolution the council passed authorizing General Obligation Temporary Notes. She was informed that it was.

Earlier in the evening, the council approved the issuance of General Obligation Temporary Notes to help the city finance four projects — Cowley Community College, Airport Extension, Westborough and the inclusion of Boundary Road improvements for future development. The total expenses of the projects equals $1,621,702.50.

With the Westborough project coming in $419,745 under the initial estimates by the engineers.

Council member Kip Etter spoke his mind on the issue before the final vote was taken.

“I’m a big fan of fixing the streets in Westborough,” Etter said. “I’m not a big fan of cutting corners. Of spending $665,000 to put our city back in the same position we are dealing with right now.”

Etter mentioned that every subject matter expert he talked to about his concern for the guttering all stated that if the city did not do it properly, the streets would return to their current state.

Etter continued stating the fact that if the actual bid came in under the estimate, it was fair to assume that a bid with the streets done how city staff recommended would also come in lower than initial estimates.

“The way I see it if $419,000 is the savings from the original estimates,” Etter said. “Then we can get the curbs and guttering for free. If $867,500 is the number you want to go off, then we’ve already paid for half of the curbs and gutters. If we follow in that same manner or same direction, I would say that the curbs and gutters will come back less. Especially when you compound that with what Director Jones said, 421 feet is in the $665,000 bid. It doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever, as an elected official who is suppose to be sitting up making sure I am putting the city in the best position moving forward, to spend money and not address the issue that got us where we are today.

Vince Wetta, Jan Korte and Bill Butts voted in favor of the resolution with Etter, Kelly Hawley and Jim Valentine voting against it.

The General Obligation Notes will go for bid in November.