Mayoral transition on city’s agenda

By Burk Krohe

City commissioners will vote on a streetscaping contract with a local firm Tuesday. Mayor Jim Sherow will also step down, and Mayor Pro Tem Loren Pepperd will be installed as mayor at the 7 p.m. meeting.

Commissioners will consider a contract with Schultz Construction for streetscaping related to the future “pocket parks” in the north end redevelopment area. In accordance with commissioners’ previous guidance, the streetscaping will include turf, planters, plantings, lighting, fencing, bike racks, benches, additional outdoor seating and some concrete.

The project includes work along 3rd,  4th and Leavenworth streets and work on a park located on Osage Street between 3rd and 4th streets and a park located along 3rd Street across from Anytime Fitness.

In November, the Strasser Village apartment at the corner of 4th and Leavenworth streets burned down. Subsequently, the pocket park project was delayed and areas of the streetscape along 4th Street sustained some damage.

Schultz Construction submitted the lowest proposal of $398,500 to complete the pocket park construction and the streetscape work. Funding for the project will come from a balance of TIF funds originally issued at $950,000. The remaining balance after paying for design, engineering and construction to date is $565,969. The total for Schultz Construction and the engineering contract with Benesch is $430,010.  It will result in $135,969 in excess revenues dedicated toward the retirement of TIF A and B bonds.

The meeting marks the conclusion of Sherow’s one-year term as mayor, and tradition dictates Pepperd’s elevation to the mayoral post until April of 2013. Commissioner John Matta is expected to be named mayor pro-tem.

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