Council may turn down federal money for Wisconsin StreetThe Hudson City Council is no longer certain that it wants 80 percent federal funding to reconstruct Wisconsin Street between Vine and 11th streets.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson City Council is no longer certain that it wants 80 percent federal funding to reconstruct Wisconsin Street between Vine and 11th streets.
The project that city officials thought would be completed this year has been delayed until late 2014, at the earliest, or 2015.
Also, a new state administrative code requires that local street projects funded in part with state or federal money provide on-street bike lanes and separated sidewalks on both sides of the street.
Monday night, City Council members discussed inquiring whether they could forego the $611,000 in federal dollars for Wisconsin Street and instead request a Surface Transportation Program grant for reconstruction of Vine Street.
“It sounds like this project is no longer aligned with the federal requirements,” Alderperson Lee Wyland said. He said the federal program would fit the improvements the city would like to make to Vine Street.
Wyland and other council members said it wouldn’t be feasible or necessary to construct sidewalks on both sides of Wisconsin Street given the topography of the area.
City consulting engineer Dennis Postler said he didn’t think the money awarded for the Wisconsin Street project could be applied directly to Vine Street.
He said the city could turn down the money for Wisconsin Street and apply for a new grant for Vine Street.
Vine Street might not be as good of a candidate for federal money as Wisconsin Street was, Postler said. (There was an error in the print edition of this story, indicating the opposite.)
Alderpersons Mary Yacoub and John Hoggatt said they would like to know more about the funding process before turning down the grant money for the Wisconsin Street project.
The city can begin drawing money for planning the Wisconsin Street project after July 1, the start of fiscal year 2013.
Postler said he would try to find the answers to the council’s questions.
When asked, he said federal requirements would add about $100,000 to the project cost.
“It’s frustrating for me,” Mayor Alan Burchill commented. “I was hoping it would be done this summer. I don’t think anybody would have believed it would take five years to do the project.”