Bonds sought for street/water repairs

Bonds sought for street/water repairs

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

On Monday, May 7, the Rockford City Council approved the sale of bonds for street and water repairs that voters approved in the April 3 election.

The sale is $9.2 million in bonds to pay for $7 million in street improvements and $2.2 million in water improvements.

A syndicate of William R. Hough & Co. of St. Petersburg, Stephens, Inc. of Little Rock and SunTrust, Inc. of Atlanta bought the street and water bonds for a net interest rate of 4.4939 percent and 4.5732 percent, respectively. The syndicate, or combination of brokers, submits bids to purchase and resell them.

“We put together an annual, five-year capital plan,” noted the city’s finance director, Andres Sammul. “And based on that, it’s financed through a combination of current funding such as state and motor fuel tax.”

The planning begins in the fall when the budget for the proceeding year is put together. Based on the five-year plan, the bonds are sized.

“Being a non-home rule city, we need the street portion of the bond issue to be approved by the voters,” Sammul said. “Based on that, then we start the process of selling bonds. For this issue, these are marketed nationally. We had eight syndicates that submitted bids throughout the United States.”

Included in the series of improvements is the repainting of the water elevator on Riverside on the northwest side of town near Owen Center Road. New traffic signals will also be affixed at Ninth Street and Sandy Hollow.

Jim Ryan, the city’s construction program manager, noted further projects include installing new water mains and resurfacing or reconstructing streets.

Water mains, which carry and transmit water to properties from well and pumping facilities, will be installed where necessary. They will be installed only where roads will be reconstructed.

Reconstruction entails tearing out curbs and gutters, allowing water mains to be installed. Resurfacing, on the other hand, merely encompasses adjusting manholes and sewer grates and pouring two to three inches of asphalt.

“We’re developing residential street lists. If a roadway’s in such poor condition, we’ll go back and look at the water service history to see if it’s had water main breaks or water service leaks,” Ryan said.

“This year, on the transportation side, we had several arterial and collector street improvements,” Ryan added.

“Some projects have been bid for residential reconstruction. Others are in the design process. We just completed repairs to the Second Street bridge. You’ll really see construction kick in to high gear in June, July.”

Construction season began in the past month, as the weather became warmer. It ends when snow first falls.

All projects will be completed this year, with the exception of Blackhawk Road from Highway 251 to Falcon Drive. Those projects will begin in late fall and probably carry into the next construction season.

The street repairs are: Seventh Street from First Avenue to Sixth Avenue (resurfacing and new water services that will connect the water service from businesses to the water main); 23rd Avenue from 11th Street to 20th Street (resurfacing); Applewood Lane from Riverside Boulevard to Spring Brook Road (resurfacing); Auburn Street from Kilburn Avenue to Central Avenue (concrete patching on the existing concrete street); Blackhawk Road from Illinois 251 to Falcon Drive (reconstruction); Cedar Street from Church Street to Avon Street (resurfacing and adding curb and gutter where necessary); Corbin from Montague Road to Cunningham Road (resurfacing); Cunningham to Kent Creek (reconstruction); East Lawn from East State to Easton Parkway (resurfacing); Fairview/Peter Avenue from East State to Charles Street (resurfacing); Harrison Avenue from 11th Street to 20th (reconstruction); Prospect from East State to Charles(resurfacing); Glenwood Avenue from Rockton Avenue to Huffman Boulevard (resurfacing); Court Street from Whitman to John (resurfacing); Sandy Hollow from Kishwaukee to 11th Street (resurfacing); and Spring Brook from Perryville just past Woodman’s grocery store (reconstruction).

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!