Melissa Wheeler, Farm Bureau

The North Bend Eagle

 

City council decides to fix Locust Street

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/23/21

The North Bend City Council kept its eye on the road at its June 15 meeting as it continues its quest to improve city streets.

Following the 2019 flood, the city had applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for funds to repair Locust Street between 11th and 13th streets. That stretch along the city park had been used as a debris collection site during flood cleanup.

FEMA did not approve the funds, but the city council decided to move forward with the project anyway and provide the funding itself.

City clerk Theresa Busse said the city could pay for it, but it would use up all the sales tax receipts for the next two years.

“That means no other big projects,” Busse said.

The city receives about $320,000 a year in sales tax, Busse said. Subtracting out bond payments taken out for levy and street repairs from the flood and sewer plant repairs leaves about $176,000 to spend on infrastructure.

The city could dedicate that amount from this year and next year to pave the two blocks of Locust Street, including the parking stalls along the east side of the street.

Councilman Bart Bosco asked if the city would get into trouble if there was a disaster at the water plant and the sales tax money was tied up. Councilman Danny Minarick said the sales tax money wouldn’t make much of a difference in that case.

“I think if we have a disaster at the water plant, it’s going to be catastrophic,” Minarick said. “That (amount of money) isn’t going to touch it.”

The city had planned to pave Ninth Street soon after bricks were replaced with pavement on Tenth Street in 2017. That project will be pushed back further because of the Locust Street project.

No motion or vote was taken. That will be done when the city engineer from JEO Consulting draws up the work order.

Meyer Construction of Broken Bow, which is already in town fixing several crumbling intersections around North Bend, said it would be able to begin the Locust Street project in August after the pool closes.

The council also decided to have Meyer Construction stay in town this summer and touch up several more intersections where pavement is breaking up.

 

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