City Council work session–sidewalks II, April 15, 2013

Homewood City CouncilThe council met for a half hour work session before committee meetings this afternoon and, among other items, voted to send five pending sidewalk projects out for bids, and to begin work if the combined cost was $125,000 or less.

Members present:  All, eventually–Michael Hallman, Britt Thames, Vance Moody, Fred Hawkins, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Jenifer Champ Wallis, Heather Reid, Richard Laws, Peter Wright, and council president Bruce Limbaugh.

Staff present: City attorney Mike Kendrick, city clerk Linda Cook, Greg Cobb and Vanessa McGrath, city engineering and zoning department, mayor’s chief of staff J. J. Bischoff.

Also present:  Regional Planning Commission planner Mike Kaczorowski.

A finished section of sidewalk in West Homewood connecting Kent Lane to Hall Kent Elementary School.

A finished section of sidewalk in West Homewood connecting Kent Lane and other streets to Hall Kent Elementary School.

Audience attendance:  4

Approved:  Following discussion led by Mr. Cobb and the RPC planner, the council voted to send out for bids the following sidewalk projects:  Kent Drive from Cobb Street to Allen Avenue, and from Allen to Raleigh Avenue;  Woodland Drive from Forrest Drive to the current sidewalk; Mecca Avenue (Middle School to Highland Road), and Highland Road (Mecca Avenue to Peerless Avenue).  The Mecca and Highland sidewalks had been moved from medium to high priority. Also approved on a separate motion was to award those bids if the combined amount was $125,000 or less. A Ward 1 resident commented in support of a sidewalk on Mecca to keep middle school foot traffic off the busy street.

Approved:  After discussion of cost, the council approved up to $10,000 additional engineering work for a sidewalk on Rumson Road (from Shades Creek Parkway to Windsor Drive). Mr. Cobb said that project had drainage and other issues to settle and would likely also be moved onto the west side of Rumson. Mr. Cobb said the Rumson project, funded by the state highway department, has been shortened after ALDOT refused to fund a crossing at Lakeshore Drive, i.e., Shades Creek Parkway.

Placed back into consideration :  A request for sidewalks on Roseland Drive, tabled at the March work session after residents objected to several alternatives, was put back into consideration at the request of Ms. Champ Wallis.

Beside these approvals, Ms. Champ Wallis and Mr. Jones will meet together with Mr. Cobb to discuss sidewalk projects in their wards, on Saulter Road in Ward 4 and on Berry Road in Ward 3.  In Ward 4, Ms. Champ Wallis asked for attention to sections “from Wellington View to as close to Broadway as we can get.”  (Four separate projects are listed on the south side of Saulter, from U.S. 31 to Waverly Drive, from Waverly to South Wellington, South Wellington to Lakewood Drive, and Lakewood to Rockway Road).

Mr. Jones asked the same for a long (2,845 feet), as-yet unfunded sidewalk proposed on Berry Road, which he called “a dream” for Berry residents.

 The meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m.

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