Red Oak City Hall updated photo

Red Oak City Hall

(Red Oak) – Future street repair projects are targeted in the city of Red Oak.

Meeting via ZOOM late Monday afternoon, the Red Oak City Council approved the city’s street project for 2021. Red Oak City Administrator Brad Wright says the project entails asphalt repairs on portions of three streets in the community.

“It’s that short section of Eastern (Avenue), from Hammond to Forest that has an asphalt piece in it now—it’s in terrible shape,” said Wright. “Then, the other streets we’ve talked about before—3rd Street from Corning to Oak, all the way downtown, then Washington Avenue from Broadway to 8th Street—those are the asphalt streets.”

Wright says the city’s plan calls for accomplishing the project without issuing bonds to cover the costs.

“As we look forward, what I am trying to do in the plan that I have in front of you is avoiding bonding in the next couple of years, if possible,” he said. “With our pool project and everything we’ve taken on, our debt service levy is high enough that I would like to hold that off for a couple years, if I can. I believe we could do what we have in front of you, and not bond.”

Additionally, Wright hopes Red Oak can bid the project jointly with Clarinda, which is planning similar asphalt work next year.

“I wanted to try this for years—we’ll see if this works, or not,” said Wright. “But, we’re going to look at, anyway, the possibility of bidding our projects together, to see if we can increase the quantities, a little bit, and see if we can make it happen where it could help our bid quantities and bid pricing. If it gets to be enough tonnage, they could bring in an (asphalt) plant to do that.”

Austin Sonntag is an engineer with Snyder and Associates, which worked with the city’s street project plans. Sonntag says having a local asphalt plant would benefit both communities in terms of holding down mobilization costs.

“Getting that asphalt plant in, that’s the big mobilization cost,” said Sonntag. “That drives up the asphalt per ton. If we could find a contractor that would bring a plant in for Clarinda and Red Oak, and place it in between, then that’s where you could really see some cost savings. I’m not guaranteeing that an asphalt company would do that—but it’s worth a shot.”

Wright says Clarinda’s City Council and City Administrator Gary McClarnon indicated openness to a joint bidletting. In addition, Wright expressed his desire to postpone work on Eastern Avenue from Forrest to Summit Streets until 2022. He says the city would then be eligible for up to $330,000 in Surface Transportation Block Grant funding.

In other business Monday, the council took no action on placing stop signs at railroad underpasses on Bluegrass Road, 8th Street and 2nd Street. After inspecting all three intersections, Wright and Police Chief Justin Rhamy indicated the signs weren’t needed.

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