North Platte City Council to discuss pavement project on State Farm Road

North Platte and Lincoln County roads officials have regularly called attention to the narrowness and deterioration of State Farm Road, crossed in several places by the city limits on both sides of U.S. Highway 83. Both factors can be seen in this eastbound view of East State Farm Road near the NPPD Canal bridge. Lincoln County plans to repave some stretches on both sides of U.S. 83 within its jurisdiction, partly with the help of road bonds approved in March that must be repaid with property taxes. The city will discuss joining with the county on that project at its council meeting Tuesday.

Lincoln County would expand its repaving of State Farm Road to include the portions within North Platte’s city limits under a proposal on Tuesday night’s City Council agenda.

The 5:30 p.m. meeting in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St., also includes second-round debate on a rezoning ordinance allowing apartments and “neighborhood commercial” lots at West A and Lakeview Boulevard.

Council members will be asked to immediately enact a “paving district” ordinance so the city’s State Farm Road segments on both sides of U.S. Highway 83 can be repaved by work crews now overlaying the county’s segments.

The city would supply some millings and cover the cost to lay new asphalt on the stretches within city limits, according to the proposed ordinance.

The work folding in the city’s stretches would extend west from Newberry Access to about 1,300 feet west of South Willow Street, it says.

Lincoln County commissioners issued $3.5 million in road bonds last spring for long-needed resurfacing of several paved county roads, including where State Farm Road crosses and recrosses city limits.

Driving conditions on the deteriorated but highly used street worsened greatly from late-winter snowstorms and heavy spring and summer rains, city and county officials have said.

Western Engineering Inc. was hired to do the county’s work in April, but its crews didn’t arrive until October due to pressing repairs of flood-damaged roads in central and eastern Nebraska.

City officials contacted their county counterparts about rolling the city’s State Farm Road segments into the county’s project, according to council documents.

Making use of Western’s crews will improve the city’s portions “at a greatly reduced cost to the city,” the document says.

Widening of State Farm Road to city street standards has long appeared on the long-term part of the city’s one- and six-year road plan, as noted in The Telegraph’s “Flatrock Fix-It” series last month.

But streets that were formerly county roads don’t need to be entirely rebuilt as long as they’re merely being resurfaced, City Engineer Tom Werblow said then.

The proposed ordinance to rezone 20.3 acres at West A and Lakeview won initial 7-1 council approval Nov. 5. If favored again Tuesday, the measure would need a final vote Dec. 3 unless council members vote Tuesday to waive it.

Strips along both streets would be rezoned B-1 for four “neighborhood commercial” lots, with the rest rezoned R-3 to enable construction of 160 one- and two-bedroom “eight-plex” apartment buildings.

The area to be rezoned covers the western one-third of a long-vacant 62-acre property stretching east from the intersection along West A. Eisenhower Elementary School lies east and south of the land included in the ordinance.

DP Management Inc. of Omaha would build the estimated $10 million project and envisions an additional $10 million apartment project in time on the rest of the 62 acres.

DP likely will seek tax increment financing to assist its projects, company President Brian Riley has said.

In other business, the council will:

» Hold a second-round vote on an ordinance to update the city’s building codes to match the 2018 edition of the International Building Code.

» Take an initial vote on a proposed ordinance to update the city’s cable television codes. It would replace and greatly shorten a 69-page ordinance in place since 1991.

» Consider ratifying recent elections of board members for the League Association of Risk Management, suppliers of the city’s liability insurance. North Platte recently was on the winning side of a lawsuit removing LARM board members who a judge agreed were illegally elected.

» Vote on a resolution placing stop signs on Sitting Bull Road at East Eugene Avenue and East Walker Road.

» Award bids for a tractor for the city’s wastewater treatment plant and two pickups for the Electric Department. The bids are part of a six-item “consent agenda,” which will be adopted with one vote unless a council member asks for an item to be removed.

» Consider a $157,000 long-term financing agreement with US Bancorp Government Leasing and Finance Inc. for a 2019 John Deere loader recently approved for the Public Service Department.

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