BATAVIA — The city will consider borrowing $3.6 million to complete street improvements to Harvester Avenue and Richmond Avenue.
“This is an increase in project amount of $1.6 million from the original project amount of $2.04 (million),” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said at Monday’s Council Conference meeting. “I just want to note that 80% of the project cost is grant-funded through a transportation improvement program. The other 20% will come from highway funds or Marchiselli funds.
The city said changes in the project scope are needed, such as making the work on Richmond Avenue, from State Street to Oak Street, preventative maintenance. On Harvester Avenue, the request is to change the project to preventative maintenance from East Main Street to Colorado Avenue and road rehabilitation from south of Colorado Avenue to Ellicott Street.
Superintendent of Public Works Ray Tourt said the portion south of Colorado Avenue is insignificant road. He said it was asphalt put, basically, on native soils. The rest of the road is made of a concrete base.
“This was a road rehabilitation project. Basically, we were going to take the asphalt off of the road and rebuild on top of the concrete,” he said. “We do not have that option on that lower third. That’s where the material changes, the scope changes. Basically, that is going to be reconstructed.”
Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. asked whether that part of Harvester was adequate to hold the weight of the truck traffic that has been on it.
“Is that why you think it’s so rough now, because that seems to be one of the rougher parts, too,” he said.
Tourt said in theory, the road wasn’t adequate to hold the weight of truck traffic.
“It has done better than, I think, any of us thought. That’s why we were very surprised with it. In my 23 years here, we’ve never opened that portion for a utility cut. We always just, (through) dumb luck, have gotten to dig the other sections of Harvester.”
Councilperson-At-Large Bob Bialkowski asked what the soil conditions were under the blacktop in that section of road.
“Under the blacktop, it’s a silty gravel. We tend to think it was a native material that was used around here, but not what you would consider a substantial base for an industrial loaded road,” Tourt said.
Tabelski said the city is asking for an increase in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funding from the Genesee Transportation Council, which it has under review.
“Then we have other opportunities, potentially, for Marchiselli or highway aid funds to make up the match if the Marchiselli is not reauthorized by the state Legislature,” she said.
Tourt said the department wants to keep the project on schedule for the upcoming construction season in the spring. The City Council moved the bond authorization for the project to a future business meeting.
The city has a new six-year agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) union, following approval by City Council.
The agreement includes a salary increase of 2.5% each year for the six years, a $100 increase per year at the point an employee reaches $20 years working for the city, a limit of carryover vacation to one week, and an increase in health care contribution by 3% over the term of the contract.
The old agreement expired March 31, Tabelski said at the meeting.
“Over the past couple of months, the city and union representatives have been negotiating terms for a new agreement,” she said. “On Oct. 21, a tentative agreement was reached with the CSEA union.
Tabelski said the agreement will have a $34,500 impact on the city budget each year, including the costs for retirement and Social Security.