Jul 292011

By Linda Kor–

The Winslow City Council gave final approval of the city’s $22.3 million 2011-12 budget Tuesday evening. The capital projects that are part of the budget include $1.9 million to continue work on the Route 66 Renaissance Project for continued improvements to streets and $73,000 toward airport improvements outside of improvements in line for grant funds.

City Manager Jim Ferguson stated that the Renaissance Project is moving along well, and that the underpass at Williamson Avenue is expected to be opened as of today (July 29).

“The entire project on the west end of town should be completed within the next two to three weeks. The underpass will be open, but there will only be one lane open at this time. In about two weeks there will be two lanes open,” explained Ferguson.

He also informed the council that the city’s leadership program would begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the council chambers, and that citizens are encouraged to participate and gain an understanding of how city government operates. Ferguson stated that the objective was to have people come to the class and then go share the information with their neighbors to build new leadership and interest in city matters.

Mark Woodson of Woodson Engineering updated the council on the southside water line project. The project is to replace a total of 20,000 feet of cast iron water line that has been in place since the 1920s and has been gradually corroding.

The first phase of this project extends from Cottonwood and First streets to the south side of town at Washington Street. “This is the easiest place to begin the project, because we already know the right of way. We expect this first phase of the project to be able to go out to bid around Thanksgiving,” stated Woodson.

The cost for the first phase is estimated at $429,000, with the funds already in place from the city’s one-cent sales tax fund. The second phase falls partially under BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Railway property. Although officials don’t expect any problems in obtaining right-of-way, the funds will not be available to begin that project for another three years.

In another matter, resident Marie Lamar went before the council with concerns regarding the upkeep of the cemetery grounds. She stated that the older portions of the cemetery have become overrun with weeds, and requested that the cemetery be maintained in order to show respect for those individuals who resided in and served the community in the past.

In other business July 26, the council:

* Approved a liquor license application for Big Daddy Pizza, located at 2217 N. Park Drive.

* Approved a request by the Just Cruisin’ Car Club for funding in an amount not to exceed $3,000 for its 17th annual car show, scheduled Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and to waive vendor fees.

* Approved a request for a donation in the amount of $400 for the committee responsible for 911 Memorial in order to purchase additional flags and flowers for the upcoming 10th anniversary of the tragic event.

* Approved the adoption of an ordinance adding a change to the schedule of airport fees to allow a tie down of one air ambulance aircraft to be included in the fees at no additional cost.

Photo by Linda Kor:

The construction at the intersection of Williamson Avenue and Second Street in Winslow is nearing completion, with the underpass expected to be re-opened today (July 29). Here Police Chief Steve Garnett observes the work that is being done.