This work session to set new priorities on sidewalk projects was called to order at 4:15 p.m., with council president Bruce Limbaugh presiding. Under discussion were those projects already set as “high priority” that had been allocated $1 million in last year’s budget. Several sidewalk projects previously proposed were due further RPC evaluation with alternate designs presented — Roseland Drive and Columbiana Road/Sterrett Avenue.
Members present: Mike Hallman, Britt Thames, Fred Hawkins, Vance Moody, Walter Jones, Jenifer Champ Wallis, Heather Reid, Richard Laws, Peter Wright, council president Bruce Limbaugh.
Absent: Patrick McClusky
Staff present: Mike Kendrick, city attorney, Linda Cook, city clerk, and Vanessa McGrath, Scott Cook, and Greg Cobb of the city engineering department.
Audience attendance: 4 (residents of Roseland Drive, Ward 1, and Homewood Star reporter)
Sidewalk projects and updates of approved projects:
The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) gave a year-to-date update on the sidewalk project: 10,000 linear feet of sidewalks have been constructed at a cost of $32 per foot (not including engineering costs). There is $300,000 to $400,000 remaining this year for sidewalk construction. RPC recommended the following streets be placed on the high priority list: Grove Street (Allen Avenue to Raleigh Avenue), Hall Kent school, and Cobb Street[?] (to apartment complex). Council members mentioned other changes by ward: Add – Woodland Drive to Forrest Drive, drop 1065 Oxmoor Road, and add Peerless Avenue to Mecca Avenue; Evergreen Avenue to Homewood Middle School to Mecca and Highland Road.
Additionally, Mr. Limbaugh asked members to recommend three sidewalk requests per ward to complete the high priority listing.
Roseland Drive sidewalk options tabled: Following a long discussion in which three options were pitched for sidewalks along Roseland, all with opposition from several residents, the council tabled the matter on a motion from Ms. Reid. The options were:
A) South side build-out into street — The cost was estimated at $50,000, losing 6 feet of street and including $35,000 to $40,000 for drainage work. A motion to follow Mr. Cobb’s recommendation for an initial engineering evaluation was rescinded on advice from the city attorney that the contract was too open-ended.
B) North side into yards — This option requires obtaining easements from owners, and an estimated cost of $23,000. One resident opposed that option.
C) North side build-out into street — This option received opposition from those affected residents in the audience because it interfered with parking.
Approved: On a motion from Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Moody, the council approved a bid invitation for the Columbiana Road to Sterrett Avenue project at an estimated cost of $180,000. The design would include the center island connected with crosswalks, re-striping the center and outside lines, and eliminating open ditches and improving drainage to assist development possibilities near Publix.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.