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Bellevue's Work on Landmark Drive Over Budget, Hillside Slippage to Be Addressed

“I pretty much missed the estimate bid,” Bellevue City Administrator Keith Spoelker said Wednesday, when describing the discrepancy between a bid from JPS Construction to reconstruct and re-pave Landmark Dr.
 
Spoelker initially estimated the project would cost the city approximately $40,000, while contractors priced the project significantly higher, at approximately $155,000.
 
Spoelker explained that upon closer examination by the city and contractors, the project would require replacing much more fundamental road structures and not just superficial repairs as the city originally estimated. 
 
To accommodate the discrepancy in the budget, Spoelker recommended that council take the extra funds needed from the city’s municipal road aid fund, currently totaling approximately $235,000. 
 
“That still leaves a healthy road aid budget in place,” Spoelker said. “We’ve been trying to put a band-aid on this for a while now. It’s time to move with the project.”
 
Assistant City Administrator Jody Robinson also added that, because Landmark is a pivotal avenue used by the Southbank Shuttle, this issue deserves due diligence.
 
Council unanimously approved Mayor Ed Riehl to sign the contract with JPS Construction to begin the project shortly after Riverfest and the WEBN Labor Day fireworks.
 
FEMA Grant to Address Hillside Slippage near Taylor, Bonnie Leslie, Sherry
 
City Administrator Keith Spoelker reported to Council progress made on a two-year negotiation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and residents of Taylor and Bonnie Leslie Avenues, as well as North and South Sherry Lane, to address hillside slippage in the area. Spoelker reported a preliminary approval for a $345,000 award to engineer a solution to the slippage, contingent upon a 13% match from the affected residents, equaling roughly $40,000 for approximately 30 residents in total.
 
“It’s a two year effort that’s finally paying off,” Spoelker said.
 
Spoelker also explained that he will soon begin working with residents to raise the 13% match necessary to receive the grant, and that the number of residents brought into the fold can be manipulated to decrease the cost per resident.
 
Public Hearing to Discuss City Tax Rate
 
Mayor Riehl announced Wednesday that City Council and staff will hold a public hearing on September 10, at 6:45 p.m., to hear public comment on the proposed tax rate for fiscal year 2014-15.
 
Written by Pat LaFleur, RCN contributor
 
Photo: Southbank Shuttle on Landmark Drive via Google