City Engineer Rick Gaul said the project has encountered some unexpected environmental requirements not included in the original preliminary engineering agreement.
Lochmueller Group who is assisting with the environmental documentation for the footbridge restoration project said while they were developing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document it was requested by INDOT to conduct a public hearing. It was estimated that the public hearing would cost $6,800.
The second item requested is photo documentation of the structure prior to the beginning of construction. This request came from IDNR. Estimated cost for the photography was $7,400. The final element included in the request if so supplemental services in the development of an Additional Information document. The development of this document will be needed to cover the mitigation site that is being development in conjunction with the project for tree mitigation associated with tree clearing in the floodway. Estimated cost for this $15,000.
City Engineer Rick Gaul contacted INDOT regarding the funding and found that funds cannot be moved from one fiscal year to another. However, if funding were available, the city could request extra funds to address the new environmental requirements. If awarded the federal funds it would be an 80/20 match with the cities share being $5,840 of the $29,2000 bottom line. Gaul said, “Essentially these items need to be approved by the Board of Public Works and Safety in order to continue the project.” He went on to say, “I’m requesting permission to enter into a supplemental agreement with VS Engineering to meet these new environmental requirements and to request federal funding from INDOT.” Jeff Houin asked about the cost of the public hearing being $7,000. City Engineer Rick Gaul said there would be costs for advertising the public hearing, the city would have to supply legal documents of the project, notes from the meeting must be notarized. Display boards would need to be created and several professionals would have to attend to discuss their portions of the project.
The Board of Public Works and Safety approved an additional appropriation for $29,200 and if federal funding is available the city would be reimbursed the 80% of the total cost.