Marguerite Street Extension gets approval from Williams City Council

Nearly four months after the City of Williams refused to approve the Marguerite Street Project due to non-Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant sidewalks, the city council finally did so last week.

“This has been a long time coming, and we’re happy to report that as of now, the Marguerite Street Extension Project is complete,” City Administrator Frank Kennedy said. “The sidewalks are in conformance, and all other things have been complied with.”

Councilmember Kent Boes motioned to approve the project, Mayor Pro Tempore Alfred Sellers seconded, and the council voted unanimously in favor of approval.

While the project has been approved, the road will not be opened for travel until there is some development in the area.

“We could open it up tomorrow and have a drag race out there, but that’s about all it’s going to be good for. My personal opinion is that we wait to have business on that road and open it up then,” Mayor John Troughton said.

Yet development along the roadway is not far off: the long talked-about Love’s Truck Stop is currently nearing the end of the environmental review process, Councilmember Chuck Bergson said.

“The truck stop is under environmental review right now. It’s near done, and the next steps are in the works. It’s moving,” said Councilmember Chuck Bergson. “It’s to be a keystone to other development in the area.”

The project took a little over a year to complete. Ground was broken on the project in June 2015. It was reported at that time that Kennedy expected the project to be completed by the end of the year.

The project missed that mark. It appeared to be on track for approval iin March, when an item for approval of the project first came before the council. However, at that time it was determined that the sidewalks – namely, their slope — did not meet ADA requirements.

The council declined to approve the project, fearing that they would be on the hook for the construction costs of the sidewalk – which were paid for by $225,000 in Caltrans grant funds. Kennedy was reported as saying that the city didn’t believe Caltrans would allow them to accept the project if it was not ADA compliant.

As a result, 6,200 feet of non-compliant sidewalk were torn up and completely redone. The rubble from the non-compliant sidewalks could potentially be used by the county for waterside reinforcement for levees.

“The tentative plan is that a portion of it could be used for levee building in the county,” Colusa County Public Works Director Scott Lanphier said. “DWR has said that some of it could be used… I think it’s a great project, and if we can utilize that free material (from the Marguerite Street Extension project), that’s great. But, it’s tentative. It all depends on levee timing and construction, but we are working towards that goal.”

Even with the reconstruction of the sidewalks, Kennedy said that it was interesting to note that the project still came in at $100,000 to $120,000 under the projected budget for the project.

“We still have one outstanding bill, but we’ll still be significantly under budget, which is great news,” Kennedy said.

Councilmember Chuck Bergson said he would like to see a full accounting of the project brought back before the council and made available for public perusal.

“Generally, when you complete public works projects, you account for every last dollar,” Bergson said.

Kennedy said that such a document would be presented, likely by the next council meeting.

“We should be proud: a lot of work went into making sure that this project came in within the budget,” Kennedy said.<

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net