Sabetha City Commission: Walking Trail project moves forward

Plans move forward for the Sixth Street Improvement Project and Walking Trail, as the Sabetha City Commission approved agreements with Schwab Eaton at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 22.

The commission met at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall. Present were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Nick Aberle, Norm Schmitt, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer and City Clerk Steve Compo.

Commissioners approved the city administrator’s signature on two separate agreements with Schwab Eaton, a professional engineering and design firm out of Manhattan. The agreements are for the design of the proposed Walking Trail and Sixth Street improvements.

The Walking Trail project was approved at the Nov. 13, 2017, commission meeting. The project will coincide with improvements to Sixth Street, which also were approved at the Nov. 13 meeting.

The street project will be completed first, said City Administrator Allen, with the walking trail to follow.

All commissioners approved the contracts. Commissioner Burenheide pointed out that while she was in favor of the street improvements, she was not in favor of the walking trail. Burenheide has consistently voiced her opinion against the construction of a walking trail since the discussion began nearly three years ago.

Project Details

The project will include repaving Sixth Street from Main to Berwick Road with a concrete street and curbs; a walking trail running alongside the newly paved street, replacement of the water line under the street and electrical upgrades. The street improvement would allow for the a five-foot walking trail.

The project will cost an estimated $2,077,000, as follows:

• Repaving Sixth Street – $1,585,800

• Walking Trail (city portion) – $271,200

• Electrical upgrades – $100,000

• Rainbow Cable – $20,000

• Water line under Sixth Street – $100,000

The City will need a short-term, four-year loan to finance the project, with a $300,000 annual payment.

At the Nov. 13 meeting, City Administrator Allen explained that a $300,000 annual payment would not pay off the note in four years. The final payment could be a balloon payment, and the city could refinance again for another four years. The advantage of this option over a bond issue is that if the city has extra money, the note can be paid off early.

The remaining cost of the walking trail — $299,760 — would be paid for through the Transportation Alternatives Grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation, which the city was awarded for the project in October 2017.

Also at the meeting:

Commissioners approved minutes from the Jan. 8 meeting.

Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck presented his report to commissioners.

The next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at City Hall.

Krista Wasinger70 Posts

Krista Wasinger is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2011. She specializes in city reporting and feature stories, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Krista is a 2004 Fort Hays State University graduate with a degree in communications studies with an emphasis in journalism. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and four children.

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