Upon reading the article entitled, “How much is a bridge worth to the public?” the comment was made that stated, “the council wants to take a step back and re-gauge public opinion.” Also in the article, it pointed out the bridge cost estimate was $6.3 to $6.9 million; in 2018 the council received a petition signed by over 200 people wanting this bridge concerning safety issues; in January 2019 the City brokered a deal for $1.25 million to purchase land for the bridge and delaying the project could eventually push the costs up to $14 million. To move this project forward would cost approximately $800,00 to do so.
Mick Michel, city administrator, has recommended we move forward with the engineering at this time. I completely agree with him for the following reasons:
1. Every two years the City holds a goal setting and strategic planning session for future goals of the City. Each session, from 2011 until 2020, the need for the bridge has ranked near the top of the City’s desires. This was during the terms of three different mayors and nine councils.
2. During my term as mayor, we purchased the Bell property through the flood buy-out program. We additionally had to purchase the land in front of their residence for the future approach to the bridge.
3. During flooding issues, the emergency personnel at the fire station have an additional distance to travel to get to our hospital.
4. Would the money spent on the round-about, the bridge from Westside Park to Candy Cane Park and the grant money for the Twin Steeples projects have covered the majority of this bridge?
I realize that the construction of this bridge is an expensive undertaking, but one I feel we should do now.