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City tackles road improvements amidst COVID-19 concerns

It was anything but business as usual at the Chesterfield City Council meeting on March 16. The Citizen of the Year Award presentation was postponed due to concern about the global COVID-19 disease pandemic. The annual award recognizes local individuals who have improved the community through an outstanding accomplishment or by being actively involved and helpful within the community. 

Mark Leach, the award’s recipient for 2020, will be honored at the next city council meeting, which is scheduled for April 22.

The seating arrangements at the meeting were also altered to keep as much distance as possible. Instead of sitting at the dais, council members relocated to tables spread a safe distance apart in the Council Chambers at Chesterfield City Hall. Special seating for visitors was also separated.

Seating arrangements at the Chesterfield City Council meeting held on March 16 [Photo: Cathy Lenny]

The meeting continued with a public hearing to consider financing for the Brandywine Condominium Association’s Neighborhood Improvement District [NID]. The city ultimately agreed to finance the street improvements for a cost of $1.09 million.

The private streets, which are comprised of concrete with an asphalt overlay, are over 40 years old and in declining condition, according to Public Works Director James Eckrich.

While the subdivision trustees contemplated several different improvement projects over the years, they ultimately determined that a NID would be the best solution, Eckrich said.

The Brandywine NID was formed on March 2 for the replacement of streets and common parking areas. Of the 173 eligible voters, 156 [about 91%] voted in favor of the NID.  

The cost of improvements will include associated legal and bonding costs, contingency, and construction inspection and testing for an estimated $1.09 million.

At the meeting, the council ultimately approved a budget amendment of $1.09 million from the general fund’s reserves to the city’s capital projects fund. 

In addition, the project was awarded to the lowest bidder, J.M. Marschuetz Construction Company, in an amount not to exceed $1 million.

According to City Administrator Mike Geisel, the final cost of improvements will be assessed against 173 property owners on their property tax bills over a 20-year period.

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