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City to pay for street work

By Staff | Jun 21, 2009

Winnebago officials are finding that economic development sometimes comes with a cost.

First it was paying $100,000 for a parking lot in front of MarketPlace Foods grocery store.

Now, the City Council has agreed to pick up the tab for street improvements related to construction of the new adolescent treatment center.

Councilmen Dana Gates and Rick Johnson — members of the city’s Utility Committee — recommended the city pay for extension of First Avenue Southwest estimated at $62,000 and Sixth Street infrastructure costs expected to be $18,707.

United Hospital District, which owns and operates the treatment center, will cover the engineering costs associated with the extension.

“You can look at it more as wanting to keep a good entity in town,” Gates says.

City Administrator Jennifer Feely says UHD should help pay for some of the unexpected expenses because they were not budgeted for and they are the result of their project.

Gates and Johnson say the city should pay the additional costs because the city will benefit from the infrastructure improvements.

Under an agreement with UHD, the city will reimburse them within 18 months after construction is complete. The $18,707 will be covered under bonds issued for the Sixth Street Southwest improvement project.

For more of this story, see this week’s Register.