Pott. County Commission talks CARES Act funding; US-24/Green Valley Rd. project

CARES Act funding
The Pottawatomie County Commission discussed Monday how it will distribute CARES Act funds once they have been received.
According to Chad Kinsley, Pottawatomie County administrator, Pottawatomie County will receive about $200 per person.
In total, the county is set to receive about $4.9 million in the first round of CARES Act funding.
Kinsley says this money will be allocated to each city in the county based on size.
“Our plan is to allocate that money to each city based upon their population,” Kinsley said. “They will ask us for approval for purchases. Of course we’re going to go to the state to get approval and then we’ll let them know.”
According to the commission, they are not yet aware of how exactly future rounds of CARES Act funding will be structured.
US-24/Green Valley Rd. intersection-improvement project
The commission approved separating a federally-funded pedestrian bridge from the US-24/Green Valley Rd. intersection-improvement project during their meeting Monday.
In doing so, the commission will prevent construction costs from being increased from around $4 million to over $5 million by high labor wages required for federally-funded projects.
Peter Clark, Pottawatomie County public works director, breaks down the costs of the project without the pedestrian bridge:
“KDOT’s commitment is $2.5 million and it’s just for construction,” Clark said. “So whatever is left after we spend their $2.5 million is what the county would pay for construction. We pay all the construction engineering. So if you total all the items that the county is responsible for, that comes out to about $2.6 million. We had initially budgeted about $2.1 million.”
The commission also approved paying for about $10,000 in engineering costs due to the change of plans, but they will wait to vote on approving what could be about $315,000 in construction-inspection costs.
Commissioner Pat Weixelman says he wants to see a comprehensive list of project costs before doing so due.
“Once this thing starts off like it has, it’s just like driving through the mud in the snow,” Weixelman said. “You just keep picking up more and more and more crap on the tires. I can just see it costing us substantially down the road due to something not being thought of or picked up.”
Project funding will also include about $15,000 in contributions to design costs from Blue Township.
Clark says that if a bid opening happens in August, the project could start as soon as the end of September 2020 and as late as May 2021. He would like the project to be completed by the end of 2021.
Dyer Rd. project and new radios
The Pottawatomie County Commission approved the rebidding of a road-safety project along a section of Dyer Rd. just north of The Little Grill restaurant.
Public Works director Peter Clark explains why:
“The lowest bid was $470,000,” Clark said. “We were thinking that we were looking at $250,000-$270,000 construction project. This is also subject to Davis-Bacon wages, which I think does play a role in the increase in the costs.”
Davis-Bacon wage rates are required for federally-funded road projects and have recently seen large increases.
The commission also approved in a 2-1 vote the purchase of a new set of radios for the Public Works department that will enable workers to better communicate with emergency services.
According to Clark, the purchase will come in under budget.
“92 radios; 80 will be mobile and 12 handheld devices that are 800 megahertz,” Clark said. “These are used radios but in good condition. We’re talking about $600 per radio with an additional install cost to go with it for a total of about $75,354.”
County commissioner Dee McKee wanted more information on other options before approving the purchase and was the lone opposing vote.

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