WILLIAMSTOWN -Council members took the city's sidewalk project one step closer to reality during Tuesday's meeting.
Councilwoman Barbara Lewis said the city was offered a plan by the state Division of Highways to use the state's on-call choices of engineering firms for design engineering on the second phase of the sidewalk project. Lewis said the first phase is now in the design and engineering stage.
"This plan uses engineering firms which are employed by the state," she said. "Those firms are Burgess and Niple of Parkersburg, TRC Solutions of Charleston and HDR of Weirton. We have to order them as to which firm we prefer."
Lewis said the streets committee members have researched the firms and found all have a reputation for doing good work.
"All three have won awards for their work," she said. "Burgess and Niple has more experience with sidewalks; the other do them but Burgess and Niple has done more."
Lewis said the committee recommended council put Burgess and Niple at the top of the list, followed by TRC Solutions and then HDR in third position. Councilman Marty Seufer made the motion to follow the committee's proposal for the ordering and was seconded by Councilman Gene Duncan.
Council passed the motion in a unanimous vote.
By using the state's on-call firm, Lewis said, the state will take care of negotiations and the city will not be responsible for procurement in the project.
"It will also save us some time in completion," she said. "We've been told it will save at least three weeks. The construction phase of our projects will remain the same with the city in the driver's seat."
Lewis said the city needs to pay its 20 percent of the project and the state will take care of all the billing.
"When we complete these projects, we will have $500,000 worth of new and improved sidewalks," she said.
In other business
Alan Gates, director of Williamstown Public Works, showed the council the new uniforms that have been purchased for the public works employees. He said they appear to like them. In December council approved the change of vendors from UniFirst to purchasing the clothes from The Working Man's Store.
Council appointed Patti Varner, Sandra Haynes and Jim Shaver to the Tree Committee. Lewis said the committee will do an assessment of trees to determine which trees are healthy and if any need work or should be replaced. She said the assessment will also be an inventory of trees in the city.
Bernard Mullenix was appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.