The Beloit City Council met on Tuesday evening and set the stage for the next round of city improvement projects. The council approved Ordinance 2219 which makes a master plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the city part of the city’s comprehensive plan.
The detailed plan was recently approved by the Beloit Planning Commission. It considers existing conditions and disconnected areas of town and proposes improvements in personal, non-automobile transit. The adoption of the plan paves the way to take the plan from paper to pavement. Improvements are prioritized in the plan based on need and public input.
If fully implemented, the improvements would occur over the course of 10-20 years. Pedestrian, bicycle and trail improvements are addressed individually in the plan. Cost estimates for pedestrian improvements run in upwards of $1.18 million. Bicycle improvements come in about $200,000, and trail improvements are estimated at $4.8 million in total.
The council also approved an agreement with Schwab-Eaton for the scope of services for a potential North Walnut improvement project. City Engineer Stuart Porter said it will be a very complex project. A traffic study showed that nearly 3,000 vehicles travel the route per day when school in is session. Porter said there would be a number of significant changes to the roadway. He added that there are a number of unique drainage issues that will create some problems.
The city agreed compensate Schwab-Eaton with a total of $248,500 for design, construction observation, and construction staking. The work by the engineering firm would make it a shovel ready project.
In other business, City Attorney Katie Schroeder said that recently elected council members must be sworn in by January 8.
Schroeder also said the Inter-local Agreement for potential future water solutions signed by the council at the previous meeting has been forwarded to the Mitchell County Rural Water Districts for their consideration. The Districts have a scheduled meeting on December 7, and they could act on the agreement.
City Manager Jason Rabe shared pictures of select sewer lines which were taken by the recently purchased camera system. He believes it will be highly valuable in identifying trouble spots in the sewer lines to find and fix problem areas before they cause service outages.
Rabe also said a meeting is scheduled for December 5 at noon with members of the Little Red Schoolhouse Operations Committee. This will include representatives from the City of Beloit, the Mitchell County Commission, USD 273 and Jerry Boettcher. This will be an organizational and planning meeting to create a plan of action to renovate the Little Red Schoolhouse.
Solomon Valley Economic Development Director Heather Hartman reminded those in attendance that the next Strategic Doing event will be November 29 at 7:00 p.m. at NCK Tech. Betty Johnson will once again facilitate the meeting.
The council also approved a series of resolutions to ensure the ability to buy and sell electricity in the future. Also approved was Resolution 2017-13 for the lease of farm ground adjacent to Moritz Memorial Airport to J-J Farms
In the work session, dangerous dogs were discussed. In years past the city identified breeds of dogs that were considered dangerous and were to be banned. It was said that some concerns have been expressed that there are dangerous dogs that are not limited to the banned breeds in the city. City Attorney Schroeder has looked into how other cities address such issues and more discussion will be held at a later time.
The next meeting of the Beloit City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building in Beloit.