After previously approving traffic control changes at two intersections, council decided to roll back on one after new information came forward.
At their latest meeting, council was presented with a recommendation to approve funding for a new set of lights at Sixth Avenue W. and 28th Street.
This caught some members off guard as they were under the impression the set of lights at Central Ave. and 11th Street was to be relocated to that intersection. This move was approved during last months meeting.
But according to city staff, the light arms on the downtown set are too short and not suitable for the much wider 28th Street. As such, a new set needs to be purchased and they suggested the Central Ave. lights just be moved into storage.
The cost for a new set of lights, according to city staff, is around $88,200. Of that, just over $79,000 would come from money set aside for projects of this type in the capital reserve, while the rest would come from the traffic light operating budget. Agenda documents also showed the removal of lights downtown would cost around $6,000.
These numbers did not sit well with some Coun. Don Cody, who was “weary on this thing” and did not enjoy the fact the city would be dipping into reserve funds to cover costs.
Though not on board with the timing of new spending as 2018 budget planning is soon to get underway, Coun. Ted Zurakowski wanted to get the project finished.
“We are where we are now in August and I think administration is seeing that we need to proceed at this point,” he said. “I think because we spent all this time (with the Transportion Master Plan) to identify the needs, this was one of the needs.”
Though understanding, Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp voiced her frustration with the sudden change in asking, saying she couldn't let "sleeping dogs lie" when new information came forward.
“When you change the plan that changes the rational,” she said, and moved to rescind the original decision to remove the Central Ave. lights.
“What we voted on in the past is different (as) this light can’t be used at the larger intersection," she said. "At some point, tax payers paid money to put the light up…and now, if my motion doesn't pass, we will pay more money just to put it in storage."
Near consensus formed around this idea and both motions passed, approving funding for new lights at Sixth Ave. W and 28th Street intersection and keeping the set at Central Ave. and 11th Street.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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