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File #: 13-1156    Version: 1 Name: 11/7/13- Scio Church Sidewalk Gaps Resolution 1
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 11/7/2013 In control: City Council
On agenda: 11/7/2013 Final action: 11/7/2013
Enactment date: 11/7/2013 Enactment #: R-13-344
Title: Resolution to Appropriate Funds for the Design of Scio Church Sidewalk - Special Assessment Project - Resolution 1 ($35,000.00) (8 Votes Required)
Attachments: 1. Scio Church Sidewalk Gaps
Resolution to Appropriate Funds for the Design of Scio Church Sidewalk - Special Assessment Project - Resolution 1 ($35,000.00) (8 Votes Required)
Approval of the attached resolution directs staff to prepare plans, specifications, and cost estimates to fill in the sidewalk gaps along Scio Church Road (Delaware Drive to South Maple Road) as a special assessment project.  
During the design, staff will apply for funding from the Federal Surface Transportation Fund (STPU) to offset City-share and special assessment costs.
Public Input
In August of 2012, a petition was received by the City requesting the installation of sidewalks on the south side of Scio Church between Delaware Drive and Maple Road. The petition was signed by approximately 75 residents of the Churchill Downs neighborhood, located on the south side of Scio Church Road.
In December 2012, City Council approved a resolution appropriating $15,000.00 for staff to evaluate several alternatives for connecting the Churchill Downs subdivision with the existing pedestrian bridge that crosses I-94 at South Maple Road.  In addition to filling the gap on the south side of Scio Church, staff evaluated the feasibility and possible costs associated with filling in a north side gap and installing a pedestrian crossing on Scio Church.  
On September 18, 2013 a public meeting was held at Lawton Elementary.  At the meeting staff presented the alternatives and rough cost estimates and gathered input from the approximately 25 meeting attendees and several who e-mailed feedback following the meeting.  
Feedback from the meeting indicated a vast majority strongly support sidewalk construction to address the south side gap. The feedback received did not oppose sidewalk construction for the north side gap, but it was not expressed as a priority, or a suitable alternative to addressing the south side gap. Construction of a pedestrian crossing was discussed but not viewed as an acceptable alternative to addressing the south side gap by the majority of respondents; various concerns were voiced regarding the safety of pedestrian crosswalks. Attendees also expressed an interest establishing a mechanism in which the neighbors and/or local businesses could contribute funds.
Based on the community feedback, staff is proposing to proceed with the design of both the south side gap and the north side gap.  The additional efforts associated with designing the north side gap will be minor relative to the design of the south side gap alone.  The design phase will then produce estimates for the construction costs and associated assessments.  This will provide necessary information in determining which element(s) should be funded and constructed in the near future.  Should the north side gap not be constructed at this time, the design would be archived for future use.
Funding and Special Assessments
As called for in Chapter 13 of City Code, the cost for the addition of new sidewalk where none currently exists is borne by the parcels that benefit from the improvements. However, most of the proposed sidewalk is adjacent to City-owned property or the rear lots of cul-de-sac properties with limited or no access to the Scio Church right-of-way.  These properties would not be assessed.  Only a few lots within the project limits would be assessable.  
The rough cost estimate for the south side sidewalk is $360,000 total (design and construction) and the north side sidewalk is $90,000. Final cost estimates would be determined with the completion of the design.  To help offset costs, staff proposes to pursue Federal Surface Transportation Funds (STPU) which could pay for up to 80% of the construction cost.  The remainder of the costs would be local share which would likely require expenditure from the General Fund in addition to the assessments.
Next Steps
To obtain the federal funding in time for 2014 construction, STPU deadlines require that plans and specifications be submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) by January 2014. If authorized to undertake this work as a special assessment project, staff will prepare the contract documents and invite the affected property owners to an Administrative Hearing to describe the project and its associated costs. Following that hearing, staff will return to City Council with Resolutions 2 and 3 which define the individual costs to each parcel and establish a Public Hearing date.  
At that time, staff will also present the remaining City-share costs to City Council.   City Council may decide to proceed with construction of both (or neither) of the two possible elements.
Previously, City Council allocated $15,000.00 from the General Fund for analyzing design alternatives and public engagement. Approximately $11,000.00 remains in the current budget. Staff estimates total design costs would require an additional $35,000.00 ($50,000.00 total design costs) which would be funded from the General Fund.
Prepared by:  Nick Hutchinson, P.E., City Engineer
Reviewed by:  Craig Hupy, Public Services Area Administrator
Approved by:  Steven D. Powers, City Administrator
Whereas, Council deems it necessary to acquire and construct the following improvement: Scio Church Road Sidewalk, described as:
Construction of: 1) a sidewalk fronting the south side parcels along Scio Church Road, between South Maple Road and Delaware Drive; and 2) a sidewalk fronting 1740, 1760, and 1780 Scio Church Road, which are currently not served
RESOLVED, That the City Administrator be directed to have prepared plans and specifications for said improvement project, and an estimate of the cost thereof;
RESOLVED, That the City Administrator be directed to file a report of same with the City Clerk, including a recommendation as to what proportion of the cost should be paid by special assessment and what part, if any, should be a general obligation of the City, the number of installments in which the assessments may be paid, and the land which should be included in the special assessment district;
RESOLVED, That the City Clerk shall present said report to the Council and make it available for public examination; and
RESOLVED, That The City Council approves an additional $35,000.00 appropriation from the General Fund, Fund Balance for purposes of preparing the design to be available without regard to fiscal year.