A popular Dyersville green space will soon include more than a quarter-mile of new sidewalks, but it is yet to be determined if that will occur this fall or in the spring.

The Dyersville City Council has moved forward with its commitment to improve the new City Square, which has been home to the Downtown Markets as well as the Beyond the Game activities, by rubber-stamping a potential contract for approximately $136,000.

The project will include approximately 1,400 square yards of PCC sidewalk, 500 square yards of brown-colored PCC sidewalk and 1,400 linear feet of electrical conduit.

Unlike projects in the past, the council has taken a different approach to the approval process, giving the thumbs up to the cost before seeing a contract, as long as certain caveats are met.

If the bids do not go over the engineering estimate of $136,000 by more than 2.2%, the contract does not need to come back before the council for approval, rather the council has authorized Mayor Jim Heavens to make the decision.

“That’s to help expedite the matter,” City Administrator Mick Michel explained. “We felt that the mayor, being the chief elected official, would be the appropriate one to make that decision and that’s why we added the 2.2% tolerance.”

The project will be funded through the use of local option sales tax, which was budgeted for this fiscal year.

As part of the grander vision of the City Square project, plans do still include adding a permanent stage, although that aspect is not included in this phase of the project as city staff said they are still working out details on what features it will require as well as ongoing coordination with potential sponsors.

Public Works Director John Wandsnider, who also served as the engineer for this project, said he has already reached out to several contractors regarding the concrete paving, but he has received mixed responses regarding how much work they have on their plates yet this fall.

“We’re looking to solicit bids from known and trusted contractors,” Wandsnider said.

The plan before the council specified the project be done by November, but Wandsnider requested that a second option be added to possibly receive some more competitive bids, which the council agreed with.

“One would be a competition this fall, aside from seeding, and the other this spring,” Wandsnider said. “That way the contractors that are too busy this fall could still compete for it and we could see better prices.”

Even with the sidewalk paving occurring before the construction of the stage, which is expected to be constructed sometime in the spring, Wandsnider said there are techniques to protect the new concrete from the heavy equipment.

While the currently proposed project bid includes installing electrical conduits along the sidewalks, lighting will not be immediately added.

“The city can put in our own lights,” Wandsnider said.

Michel also told the council the city would ensure the contractor have the project completed in plenty of time before Major League Baseball returns again in early August 2022. Construction also would not impact the Downtown Market.