EFFINGHAM — With an agreement in place with Milano & Grunloh Engineers, the citywide Bike Lane Project is another step closer to reality.

During Tuesday’s Effingham City Council meeting, the agreement for construction engineering services was approved at a cost not to exceed $68,400. The city will be splitting the local share of the cost, which is 20 percent of the expense, with TREC. The total cost of the Trail Head and Bike Lane Project is expected to be $1.17 million.

Once completed, the project will have a new parking lot on Outer Belt West. Bike lanes will be striped connecting the city from downtown to parks and hospital. Included will also be signage, kiosks and trail connections along Ford Avenue and Keller Drive, city officials said.

The overall cost of the project, 80 percent, is being funded through the Illinois Transportation Enchancement Program Grant awarded to the city in the amount of $934,000. The city will be responsible for the remaining 10 percent of the cost, $114,000, while TREC will pay the other 10 percent.

“This is a citywide project and so it will be very large in scope,” said Public Works Director Jeremy Heuerman.

Commissioner Larry Micenheimer said this project will promote a healthy community, encouraging bicyclists to converge on Effingham. He called it “a happy day” for bicyclists.

“This is a right move in the right direction and something that our kids and grandkids will get to enjoy,” said Micenheimer. “As we grow and learn to drive and co-exist with bicycles – that will be the next phase.”

The city is hopeful to get the project bid and for construction to begin in summer.

In other matters, the council:

  • Approved spending $28,485 for a retail and wholesale sewer rate study for wastewater treatment services with Stantec. This study is expected to help the city determine the appropriate rates after reviewing future capital improvement plans for the sewer department. This will help the city in several ways: Staying in compliance with the EPA, determine a percentage of rate change to help pay for improvements and keep the rates as low as possible. The study, which is done every four years, is expected to be completed by March.
  • Approved an intergovernmental agreement with Effingham Community Unit 40 to assist with vocational training and improvements to Unit 40 facilities, including that of traffic concerns and how the parent pick-up plan should go. The proposed plan will address a traffic issue and safety issue that has been ongoing for the city and Unit 40.
  • Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Effingham County Emergency Telephone System Board to provide 911 services for the next three years.
  • Approved a rezoning request by John Boos & Co. in order to prepare for a possible future expansion at its metal manufacturing facility, north of Thies Avenue. The zoning has been changed from nonurban to light industrial at 3601 S. Banker St., Effingham. The company looks to purchase 4 acres for future growth.
  • Approved replatting 6.5 acres of land for the future site of Cash Equipment on Pike Avenue, east of The Cross at the Crossroads. Cash Equipment wants to relocate from the north end of the city to this location.

Dawn Schabbing can be reached at dawn.schabbing@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151, ext 138.

Reporter

Dawn Schabbing is a senior reporter at the Effingham Daily News, covering Effingham City Hall, Unit 40, and special projects. A graduate of Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University with degrees in journalism, she lives in Neoga.

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