“We have cussed and discussed the condition of Business 50 through Washington as long as we want to”….that was the way Mayor Joe Wellman introduced the reading of a resolution preliminarily approving a plan to address the condition and future of Business 50 through Washington.
Ever since the state built the US 50 bypass, they have been wanting the city to take over Business 50 as a city street. Wellman and his 3 predecessors have informed the state that the city would not take the road until the state upgraded it…
Mayor Wellman says the resolution passed last night is as close to a resolution as possible.
A series of engineers, accountants, and financial advisers addressed the city council and outlined the costs of repairs to the City’s major east-west artery and the upgrade of the 80 year old utility lines under the roadway. Councilman David Dahl noted that even without work on the road, the city would still need to do the work on the utilities and infrastructure along the highway.
The Mayor noted there is still a lot of work to do.
Under the City’s proposal, the work would be divided into three sections, East 3rd to the west city limits, East 3rd to State Street, and State Street to the round-about. Total cost would be around $25 million. The City is proposing to pay for $10 million to be used for the infrastructure improvements. The state would $15 million for street repairs and rehabilitation.
The City’s share of the costs would come from a combination of Bonds or Bond Anticipation Notes from the Water, Sewer, and Electric Utilities, and Bonds from the Redevelopment Corporation.
The funding plan would mean the average household would see a monthly. increase of $1.24 for water, $1.00 for Sewer, and $2.57 for electricity. Under the City’s Proposal the upgrading of Business 50 would be a five year project. The Mayor said the City would work to minimize the impact on residents and businesses along the roadway.
After discussion and several questions concerning timing and finances, the Council passed the resolution outlining the project 5-1. Councilman Doug Campton cast the line “no” vote. Negotiations with INDOT on the City’s takeover of the highway are still on-going. As far as a time table, some utility work could be completed next year but again, the total time would be 4 to 5 years as the money from the state will come in installments starting in 2019.
(Follow the links below to read Mayor Joe Wellman’s official press release on the proposal)