By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety members Monday approved a $206,000 agreement with Norfolk Southern Railroad for construction of a pedestrian/bike railroad crossing connected to the ongoing Monroe Street Trail project.
According to city engineer Mary Cripe, the Monroe Street Trail project has been in the works since approximately 2006 and involves construction of a pedestrian/bike trail along Monroe Street from U.S. 33 all the way to Gate 5 of the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Due to the fact that the proposed trail will cross a set of Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, Cripe said it was necessary for the city to enter into an agreement with Norfolk Southern to have the pedestrian/bike crossing installed. Cripe noted that the Indiana Department of Transportation is helping to coordinate the work, which will be done in-house by Norfolk Southern.
“This is through INDOT, and they actually coordinate between the city and the railroad, and then the agreement gets signed between just the city and the railroad,” Cripe said. “This agreement allows the reimbursement to Norfolk Southern for the actual cost of the temporary and permanent alterations of communications lines, signal lines, signals and other railroad facilities.”
Total cost for the railroad crossing project has been tentatively quoted at $206,606, which Cripe said will be paid with 80 percent Federal Transportation Enhancement funds and 20 percent local funds.
When asked by Mayor Allan Kauffman if the hefty $206,000 price tag had been anticipated, Cripe indicated that the quoted price actually came in less than she and her department had been expecting.
“When we put it together, we anticipated $250,000, because you just don’t know when you’re dealing with the railroad what it’s going to be,” Cripe said. “So it is less, but they’re saying that this is a worst case scenario and it will probably come in less than this, but they want to have all their costs covered.”
Board members Monday approved a master lease/purchase agreement with Public-Finance.com to help finance a portion of the cost of a new ambulance for the city.
According to Keitha Windsor, contract and claims manager for the city, it is the city’s desire to finance $101,044.50 of the $244,735.50 purchase cost of the proposed ambulance through the lease/purchase agreement.
Windsor noted that the lease/purchase agreement with Public-Finance.com Inc. will be for eight semi-annual payments of $13,242.11 with an interest rate of 2.4 percent. The first payment is due June 15, 2013 and the last payment is due Dec. 15, 2016, Windsor said.
• The board opened bids for Phase II of the Dickerson Landing project. Submitting bids were: Rieth-Riley Construction of Goshen, base bid $244,522.60, alternate $29,355.26; Beer and Slabaugh of Nappanee, base bid $247,400.50, alternate $28,220; Square 1 Builders of Elkhart, base bid $273,715.12, alternate $59,192.50; Niblock Excavating of Bristol, base bid $229,279, alternate $27,300; Selge Construction of Niles, Mich., base bid $189,191.75, alternate $75,956; and C & E Excavating of Elkhart, base bid $174,332.75, alternate $27,540. A motion was approved to refer the bids to the Goshen Engineering Department for a recommendation.
• The board opened bids for the North Wellfield roof replacement project. Submitting bids were Borntrager Roofing of Goshen with a bid of $80,950 and Lawmasters of Elkhart with a bid of $66,952. A motion was approved to refer the bids to the Goshen Utility Department for a recommendation.
• The board awarded a contract for a Violett Cemetery road paving project to Walsh & Kelly for the alternate bid of $17,998. Kauffman noted that the money, which will be used to fund the paving of a small road through Violett Cemetery, was donated by an anonymous donor.
• The board awarded a contract for the seeding of Mill Street Park and Indiana Avenue to Hydro-Tek Seeding Inc. of Nappanee in the amount of $9,447.08.
• The board approved an agreement amendment ratification for $10,000 to pay for additional design work completed by JPR Inc. on the building design and site plan development for the Central Garage Building Expansion project.
• The board voted to contract with Ergo Resource Management Inc. of Syracuse for assistance in determining if the city’s stationary generators or gas fired boilers may require air permits to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants air permit regulations. Total cost for the work was approved up to $5,117.50. Completion of the work is expected by June 28, 2013.