Fayette council still looking at road project 2015.07.29

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council members are willing to dig a little deeper into the prospect of upgrading Industrial Parkway on the north side of the village, but they aren't going much below the surface yet.

Council voted unanimously last week to proceed with preliminary engineering work on a resurfacing proposal, but only if the cost is paid by another source.

Approval is contingent on obtaining funds through the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), but the amount of funds needed still isn't clear. 

If council were to take on a project to completely rebuild the road and increase its width, the cost could reach $700,000 although the majority of the cost would be paid from grants. 

Ironically, the larger project would require less expensive preliminary engineering than a much smaller approach that would only resurface the existing road and widen it some.

The overall cost is estimated at half the rebuilding approach, but more preliminary work would be required to ascertain if the existing road base is adequate to support truck traffic through resurfacing. 

"We have to know which direction we want to go," said village fiscal officer Karin Sauerlender. "Do we want to do the bigger project with smaller up-front engineering or do want to go with the smaller project with the bigger up-front engineering?"

Preliminary engineering for the larger project was estimated at $9,000 by Arcadis, the village's engineering firm, but it could be less if the village is able to complete part of the work. No engineering estimate is known for the resurfacing approach.

If council chooses the smaller project and later learns the base is inadequate, said village administrator Steve Blue, the county agency would not have to be paid back if no further action were taken.

However, said Fayette Economic Development Corporation head Tom Spiess, the village would lose a lot of potential grant money if the project only called for resurfacing. Rebuilding the road would bring in grants associated with job growth.

Blue estimates that income tax revenue could increase by about $24,500 due to job growth at Cra-Z-Art and TRW, but he questioned if council would want to assign 100 percent of that toward a road project loan, because other revenue needs to exist.

"If we accept this money [for engineering] and vote to go forward with Arcadis, we aren't committed to either project?" asked council member Scott Wagner.

Sauerlender said that is correct.

"Then let's move forward," Wagner said. 

Wagner's motion calls for moving forward with an engineering study for a resurfacing project, but is contingent on receiving 100 percent of the cost  from the CIC.

When an answer is obtained from the CIC, Wagner said, then council can decide on a direction to take.

“I’m not going to commit to anything until we hear what we’re getting,” he said.

A decision should be made by September to meet deadlines involved in the project, Blue said.