By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Although the Colfax Village Board would like to reconstruct all of the village’s streets that are in need of repair, the issue is how to pay for the work.
In an effort to put the village on a path that will allow for the reconstruction of streets when necessary, the Colfax Village Board approved patching Railroad Avenue, Cedar Street and Roosevelt Street at the May 28 meeting.
The streets committee has met several times with Lisa Fleming, an engineer with Ayres Associates, to discuss street projects for this year, and the committee is recommending “the lesser of two evils,” said Richard Johnson, village trustee and chair of the streets committee.
If the village uses its borrowing capacity for one street and then other areas become desperately in need of repair, it could be difficult to obtain the additional money, said Scott Gunnufson, village president.
All together, three different sections of Railroad Avenue and parts of Cedar Street and Roosevelt Street are expected to cost about $25,000.
The patches on Railroad Avenue are expected to last for about five years.
Any money left over in this year’s street budget can then be put toward other projects in the following years, Gunnufson said.
“It will just be one section (at a time). Because of our borrowing capacity and the amount of money involved in other projects, we’re looking at anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 for one street, and we’d be neglecting the other areas that need repair,” Johnson said.
“The $24,000 will serve different areas … this gives us an opportunity to set a baseline for full street repair so we don’t have to keep on doing the patch jobs every year,” Gunnufson said.
“This keeps us within our budget for 2013 for streets. If we do a full repair, we will be over budget … we have a couple of other projects we know we have to do this year, but we don’t know the extent of those projects or what they’re going to cost … these are considered the worst spots we have at this time,” Johnson said.
“There are lots of streets that are bad. Railroad is awful. I am hearing it every day. People saying their cars need to be realigned and asking if the village is going to pay for it,” said Annie Schieber, village trustee.
“The main thing I’ve heard (at Little Italy) is Railroad. Railroad. Railroad. What I hear in the restaurant is that people have gone out to measure (potholes). The size. The width. The depth. How long it’s been there. It was five feet by eight feet and eight and three-quarters inch deep,” she said.
“That was filled. And it will have to be filled again,” noted Rand Bates, director of public works.
“I didn’t mean that you’ve been ignoring it. But it’s what I hear,” Schieber said.
If Railroad were to be completely reconstructed this year, the water that drains off the street would have nowhere to drain to until Pine Street is reconstructed, Johnson said.
Bates told the village board he plans to “keep on top of” doing small street patches this year and will keep some asphalt on hand for patching.
The Railroad Avenue project will involve three separate areas for patching: a 24-foot by 78-foot section; a 14-foot by 165-foot section by the Department of Public Works building; and a 36-foot by 164-foot section from Balsam Street and to the west.
The Cedar Street project will involve patching a section that is 34-feet by 85-feet to 12-feet by 100-feet, and the Roosevelt Street project will involve a 24-foot by 63-foot section north of Fourth Street and a 24-foot by 72-foot section south of Fourth Street.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to publish the advertisement for bids in the June 5 Messenger. The bid deadline will be June 21, and the deadline for finishing the street projects will be the end of August.