City seeks funds to improve roundabout


By Joshua Keeran - jkeeran@civitasmedia.com



The Urbana City Council, during its 6 p.m. meeting today in municipal court chambers, will hear the first reading of a resolution aimed at securing funds for the Monument Square Improvements Project.

If approved after three readings, the measure would allow Director of Administration Kerry Brugger to submit an application to the Ohio Department of Transportation under the Highway Safety Improvement Program for funding to improve the city’s downtown roundabout and approaching roadways.

According to language in the resolution, the portion of the Monument Square Improvements Project that would be covered through the program is estimated to cost approximately $570,000, of which ODOT would fund up to 90 percent if granted.

On Feb. 16, council passed a resolution authorizing Brugger to submit an application to ODOT under its Small City Program for improvements to roundabout, which are anticipated to take place in 2019.

The city has noted it intends to seek all eligible funding options for improvements to the roundabout in hopes of reducing the number of crashes after a recent study revealed 65 accidents were reported within the downtown intersection of U.S. Routes 68 and 36 between August 2012 and July 2015.

The firm hired by the city to conduct the traffic study – Burgess & Niple in Columbus – reported to city officials on Feb. 1 that studies have shown roundabouts account for 13 crashes on average per year, well below the 21 crashes on average per year in Monument Square.

Brian Moore, a representative with Burgess & Niple, stated his firm believes the best solution for reducing crashes and improving pedestrian safety within Monument Square is constructing curbs throughout the roundabout, which would result in the creation of curbed islands and “refuge islands” within the crosswalks for pedestrian use.

Council will also hear the first reading of a resolution declaring necessity and intent to appropriate land for the purpose of completing the Safe Routes to Schools Project, which involves installing sidewalks on the south side of Boyce Street from East Lawn Avenue to Jefferson Avenue and on the east side of Madison Avenue from Boyce Street to Central Street.

Administration requests

The city administration will seek council approval for five items including authorizing the director of finance to enter into a contract with McKesson to provide ambulance billing services for a minimum of two years.

If approved, McKesson will be compensated at a rate of 5.5 percent of the city’s next ambulance billing revenue.

In an effort to retire the debt associated with the 2015 upgrades made to the fuel farm at Grimes Field, the administration is seeking council’s approval for a purchase order to Purvis Brothers Fuel in the amount of $18,608.26.

The Board of Control request notes that by retiring the debt, the city would be able to negotiate with all fuel vendors to obtain the best available prices and products for pilots at the airport.

Other items being recommended to council for approval include:

•A purchase order to Hull & Associates Inc. in the amount of $11,000 for landfill gas compliance activities.

•A purchase order to Charles E. Harris & Associates in an amount not to exceed $25,000 for audit services for the year ending Dec. 31, 2015.

•A purchase order to F&E Payment Pros in the amount of $18,185 for time and attendance solution software, licensing and biometric time clocks.

By Joshua Keeran

jkeeran@civitasmedia.com

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.