Archive for Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tonganoxie City Council agrees to retain current crosswalk design on Fourth Street

April 27, 2010

After hearing complaints from downtown property and business owners, the Tonganoxie City Council agreed Monday to replace deteriorating downtown crosswalks with ones of the current design.

The council decided two weeks earlier to replace Fourth Street's seven decorative crosswalks with poured concrete of a red color to match the decorative bricks in downtown sidewalks. The harsh winter with frequent freezes and thaws and many snow plow passes left the crosswalks in bad shape.

Last month, City Administrator Mike Yanez presented options to replace the crosswalks with ones of the current design for an estimated $39,200; poured, textured and stamped concrete for $35,700; poured and colored concrete for $40,600; or poured plain concrete for $32,900, which would have been the cheapest and had the least maintenance issues.

After a survey of downtown business and property owners, which produced no clear preference but did indicate a preference for continuing a decorative look, the council chose the colored concrete option because of its maintenance advantages.

On Monday, three downtown business or property owners, Janet Angell, Grant Ritchey and Kay Soetaert, asked the council to reconsider.

Soetaert and Ritchey both stressed the value to the city of maintaining the appeal of the downtown improvements. Soetaert said the property owners bought into the downtown facelift 10 years ago and would continue to pay for it until 2021. She and other property owners were concerned what other elements the city might back away from if it changed the crosswalk design, she said.

"Keep in mind, you just did a survey of what we can do to get redevelopment downtown," she said. "Now, you're taking away from what we did downtown.”

The city's Retail Development Committee voted last week to request the decorative crosswalks be retained, Angell said, adding that only two of the crosswalks where in such bad shape they needed to be replaced this year.

Councilman Jason Ward said the council made its decision based on the maintenance concerns of the street department. After listening to the speakers express different concerns, he made the motion to replace the seven crosswalks with those of the current design. Councilman Tom Putthoff voted no.

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