Committee OKs more funds for park projectThe Jamestown Public Works Committee approved 50 percent participation on a riverbank stabilization project during its regular meeting Thursday. The plan caps the city’s cost at $53,600 with the total local share being $124,000. The bulk of the $356,000 project will be paid by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Public Works Committee approved 50 percent participation on a riverbank stabilization project during its regular meeting Thursday.
The plan caps the city’s cost at $53,600 with the total local share being $124,000. The bulk of the $356,000 project will be paid by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The rest of the local share will be paid by the Jamestown Park and Recreation district along with Jamestown High School and Jamestown College, which both use Jack Brown Stadium for baseball games and practices.
“The city originally agreed to cover half the costs at up to $27,000,” said Doug Hogan, director of the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department. “Now the cost of the project has change considerably and it is apparent fill material will be needed.”
The plan calls for adding fill to the eroded river bank where the James River passes through McElroy Park. Riprap, large rocks placed on the soil, will be added to prevent future erosion.
“The plan calls for it to come close to restoring the riverbank to its original position,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer.
One of the city’s water wells is located in the park near the area subject to erosion. The project would stabilize the area surrounding the wellhead, Schwartzkopf said.
“The main concern is the water wells for the city down there,” said Ken Schulz, city councilman on the committee. “If we were talking Klaus Park, we may not be considering this.”
The city share of the funding for the project will be paid from the water utility funds.
The Public Works Committee also heard from Schwartzkopf regarding the trees along the riverbanks in Jamestown.
“There are between 4,000 and 5,000 trees along the river and about 1,000 of them have to come out,” he said. “The conditions of the trees along the river are pretty horrid after three years of flooding.”
Schwartzkopf said his department had been contemplating a winter project to remove failing trees along the river.
However, the magnitude of the project made it impractical. Instead the city will look at removing only trees posing the greatest risk river’s flow.
“The trees are a potential problem next spring,” he said. “But I don’t think we can afford to go after it all at once.”
The Jamestown Police and Fire Committee thanked Dave Donegan, Jamestown chief of police, for his years of service and approved advertising the position in local and regional newspapers and nationally through the police teletype system.
Donegan announced earlier this week that he would retire as of the end of the year.
The committee discussed forming a committee to review the applications but tabled the topic to seek legal counsel concerning whether open meeting laws would apply.
Prior to the city committee meetings, the Jamestown City Council met in a special meeting to address engineering plans for replacing the water main that passes under the James River at 13th Street Northwest. The water main has failed and been shut down since earlier this summer. This leaves a portion of northwest Jamestown served by a single water line.
The 8-inch water line would be bored about 10 feet below the channel of the river. With the plans, approved, the city will now solicit bids for the project estimated by engineers to total about $89,000.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org