Market Street to Pave the Way for City Center

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Thursday November 21, 2013

From navigating through blinding dust clouds to pothole dodging, most residents have a love-hate relationship with Market Street.  But relief may soon be on the way, just in time for the start of holiday shopping season.

A special meeting of the City Council was held Thursday, November 14 to discuss the possibility of paving the remaining dirt portion of the street this fall. Director of Public Works Justin Rabidoux estimated the paving would cost $65,000 and would likely last 3-4 years. City Manager Kevin Dorn pointed out that the City would presumably be digging up Market Street in 3 years anyway to begin the City Center build out, so this timeframe would fit in well with future plans.

Dorn had the full support of the Council. Pat Nowak pointed out that the road is well traveled at holiday time and she would, therefore, lean toward the paving. Additionally, she felt it would show residents that the City is actually moving forward with Market Street. While Chris Shaw concurred, he did warn against the backlash that would likely ensue from residents who have been pushing for paving in their respective neighborhoods; Dorn pointed out that more residents are going to be well served by this action. 

Rosanne Greco encouraged being mindful of bike and pedestrian lanes when the striping takes place, as well as having the slowest speed limit possible due to Central School’s location.  

How is this going to be funded? 

Dorn explained that contributions from the private sector will play a role. “$10,000 is firm, another $5,000 is very likely and another $5,000 is likely a 50-50 probability.  There is a small chance that contributions will come in beyond this and some folks in the private sector are working on that” Dorn said.

The remaining funds will come from savings in this year’s paving budget.  Dorn added, “Because the City combined the paving budgets from FY’13 and FY ’14 we were able to get better contract terms against our budget which yielded more than enough savings that we can apply to this project.  So, we are stretching our paving program as a result of savings from the economy of scale that was created in our paving bids/awards this year.”

Long term savings of completing this project will include removing the necessity to use Williston’s grader monthly, and the summer dust cloud will no longer be an issue. 
The schedule to begin the project this week is largely weather dependent, but Dorn received Council authorization to extend the contract with the pavers to include this item. If it isn’t possible, the conversation will be revisited in the spring when temperatures and weather conditions are ideal for paving. 

Stay tuned: a smooth ride down Market Street could be on the horizon.

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent