01/20/11 Work continues on a number of major construction projects throughout the City of Plymouth. The Plymouth Redevelopment Commission heard updates on the Oak Drive Project, South Gateway Project and EDA TechFarm grant at a meeting on Tuesday, January 18.

City Engineer Rick Gaul said the city is working with engineers from Wal-Mart for the relocation of a utility pole. Gaul indicated that the pole is being moved so that a sidewalk can be laid on the west side of Oak Road. According to Gaul, the city will be paying 100 percent of the cost of moving the pole. He said the move at this time would insure that the project would not cause a delay in other areas. Redevelopment President Don Wendell  said the land  for the sidewalk project belonging to Wal-Mart was donated.

Gaul said that utility lines near the Bob Evans Restaurant and Arby’s are being relocated.

John Jackson of Ratio Architects presented Stage 3 drawings of the proposed South Gateway Project to the Commission. Jackson said, “We can’t complete the final drawings to INDOT until there is a purchase of the Demitt Building by the City. The City plans to tear down the building as a part of the project.

Jackson said they sent Stage 2 plans to INDOT in September and did not get a response until two weeks or so before Christmas. He said they are also working on a floodway permit from the DNR. Once the Demitt building is gone, plans are to build a  retaining wall.

Jackson said they plan to erect a metal guard rail since it is a little more permanent rather than building a concrete wall. He said they would be matching the lights that are on the bridge.

According to Jackson, if the final drawings are received by INDOT in May, it could take three months for them to be approve. He said they expect actual bidding in August and could break ground in October.

Jackson said it could take six to seven months of construction to complete the project.

Gaul said the project is currently on budget, but indicated that the city’s share of the $1,300,000 project could reach $300,000. Plymouth Clerk-Treasurer Toni Hutchings was asked to review the funding on the project and report to Redevelopment at the next meeting in February. The commission had approved $250,000 previously.

City Attorney Nelson Chipman asked that the board consider requesting an additional $100,000 from Federal Highway Transportation Enhancement Grant. Chipman said the suggestion to obtain the additional monies came from MACOG representatives.   He said if the city used any of the additional funds, they would have to participate at an 80/20 split. If the extra funds are not used, then they can be returned with no penalty.

The commission approved the request unanimously.

Speaking on the EDA Tech Farm Grant was Brent Martin. Martin said the project was essentially done. He said there was $60,000 in changes orders, but a contingency of $110,000 was built into the funding for the project.

Chipman said they plan to hold a pre-proposal meeting on February 1 for any firms interested in  drafting preliminary designs for the downtown park. He said they could bring the proposal to the Redevelopment Commission in February.

Melissa Christiansen officially resigned from the Redevelopment Commission. She was a non-voting member seated as a school board representative. A replacement for Christensen could be named in February. Christiansen was named president of the Plymouth School Board at the reorganization meeting earlier this month. 

Carol Anders Correspondent