The city of Columbus held its third and final public information meeting regarding the large street renovation project planned for this spring and summer.
Seventeen residents attended the meeting, held Jan. 8 at the Columbus Senior Center. City Engineer Jason Lietha presented an overview of the project, along with updates, and City Administrator Patrick Vander Sanden was available to take questions from residents.
The work will consist mostly of street and utility improvements along South Water and East School streets.
Perhaps the biggest concern about the project is how much residents will have to pay for special assessments. The city council discussed assessments at its Jan. 4 meeting and will likely approve costs at its Jan. 16 session.
“I believe they will move forward with the special assessments,” Lietha said. “It looks like they will be modeling assessments for this project based off the 2016 street renovation project.”
After the council approves assessments, Lietha will compile preliminary numbers and file a report. After the report is released, a public hearing will be held to discuss the project.
“I expect we will know preliminary costs in about a month from now,” Lietha said.
The city plans to release construction bids for the work in late January/early February. Lietha said design work is about 90 percent complete and renovation should begin by late April, depending on the weather. If crews stay on schedule, work should be completed by the end of July.
Lietha also reminded residents of the lead lateral replacement program. The city can use funds from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to replace aging lead pipes at no cost to the homeowner. Residents interested in the program should contact the Columbus Water & Light Department at 920-623-5912.
Lietha answered a few questions about the project. For example, gas lines will not be replaced and he doesn’t expect streets to be widened during the work.
Residents along the construction route believe those streets haven’t been renovated in several decades. Not only will the streets be renovated, but Lietha said the area should have a much better drainage system as well.