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W’bago project debated

By Staff | Apr 15, 2012

Previously approved plans for the First Avenue reconstruction project split the Winnebago council members’ votes when they attempted to accept the project bids at their April 9 meeting.

The original estimated cost for the project was $1,574,400 and the alternate plan using all concrete was estimated at $1,632,960. The actual bids came in lower than the estimates.

However, feedback from members of the community left council member Stacy Huntington-Scofield questioning whether or not the project should commence as they had initially planned.

“I?have received several phone calls from people who have concerns about this project,”?Huntington-Scofield says.

Council member Scott Robertson also wondered about the completeness of the plan in discussion.

“I am concerned with the uncertainty of what’s going on with the other side of the street,”?Robertson says. “I?know we have a good contractor but I want to be convinced.”

With council member Rick Johnson abstaining from the vote, due to his residence on the street in discussion, council member Chris Ziegler moved the council approve the bids as received and Robertson seconded the motion.

“I feel like I need to take the stand for the position of the community members I’ve spoken with,”?Huntington-Scofield says.

She voted in opposition, while the rest of the council voted in favor.

City Administrator Austin Bleess informed council that in order for the motion for the bids to be approved the council and mayor must agree unanimously on the issue.

“I suggest you vote on it as two separate issues,”?Bleess says.

The council agreed to split the issues and voted on the bids and unanimously approved-which means the bids were accepted but the plans will go back to the Utility Committee for discussion of a possible change order.

It was recommended that the council hold off on voting for the bond resolutions due to questions raised about the plans.

The council decided to table approving the resolutions regarding the First Avenue bonds and hold a special meeting to discuss the plans on Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. That way a decision will be made prior to the next regular council meeting.

In other business:

Darrel Robertson who had previously been approved for a liquor license at the location of 510 Main St. S., attended the meeting to discuss his license.

Robertson had expressed that he chose not to utilize his previously issued license at 510 Main but would prefer to use it at a new location.

He reapplied for a new liquor license that he would hopefully put into use at the location of 618 Main St. S.

Robertson does not own this location but the city did receive the agreement between Robertson and the property owners.

“I?was already issued an off-sale license, now all I’m asking is for a change of location,” Robertson says.

Changing to the new location would prove to be a substantial savings for him.

Dave Schuster of Schooter’s Bar addressed the council as well in response to Robertson’s second request.

“I just don’t see how this is going to benefit this town,”?he says. “I don’t see how a town this size can support it.”

A motion was made to approve Roberton’s request for a liquor license, but died due to the lack of a second.