Last updated: September 06. 2013 7:55PM - 42 Views

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KATE LIEBERS

Staff Writer

Delaware City Council approved three separate expenditures totaling $230,000 for additional road maintenance work, fuel to sell at the airport and water treatment chemicals.

Of those expenditures, the $90,000 used to stock and sell fuel at the Delaware Municipal Airport Jim Moore Field will not impact the city budget’s bottom-line, said finance director Dean Stelzer.

“This shouldn’t have a negative effect on the overall budget,” said Stelzer. “The price we’re paying is obviously higher than what we anticipated, but the price we’re selling it for is obviously going to go up.”

Stelzer said the budget allotted for fuel averaging $3.50 per gallon, but the price has since increased to $3.95 per gallon.

Much of the remaining supplemental funds were attributed to unforeseen expenses caused by the excess rainfall this spring.

A $100,000 supplemental was requested for the road maintenance project on U.S. 36, which entails excavating the trolly line and making base repairs.

When the work was 70 percent complete, a request for an additional $55,000 to $75,000 was filed to cover unanticipated base repair costs, said assistant city engineer Matt Weber.

On Monday, council heard the second supplemental request to increase that amount to $100,000.

“U.S. 36 experienced more rapid deterioration than we ever would have anticipated this year,” said Weber. “We’re about 99-percent sure this was due to the extremely wet conditions we had this year.”

When asked if this would be the final request for more funds, Weber said the city would have to determine the point at which to stop repairs.

“I would assume that this is all the city can afford for this project, but I can’t guarantee there won’t be more failures,” said Weber. “The roads will continue to deteriorate.”

This base repair project lays the foundation for the more expensive resurfacing project. While the city pays for the base repairs, the state will pay for most of the resurfacing.

The hundreds of thousands that the city must invest in infrastructure repair is considered an efficient use of funds, considering how much it will save with the state repairs to follow.

“It’s obviously never fun to approve more money for projects,” said city manager Tom Homan. “But short of rebuilding this entire road and spending several million dollars to do that, this is the unfortunate situation we’re put in.”

Lastly, the council approved a $40,000 supplemental for water treatment.

Excessive rains increased disturbances in the water, requiring unforeseen expenses in treatment chemicals, said city public utilities director Brad Stanton.

All three ordinances requesting additional funds were unanimously approved by council, with vice mayor Windell Wheeler absent.


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