Thursday, June 17, 2021

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A bump in the road to recovery: the cost of repairs

Roadwork is a common view for motorists driving through Colusa. In addition to the massive overhaul of streets such as 6th Street and Fremont. The repairs are long enough to cover approximately five city blocks. The project is funded through a grant by Caltrans, received five years ago to the tune of $1.1 million.

“Those streets were dug out and re-compacted back to 90 plus percent, and done right,” said Colusa City Manager Jessie Cain during a Community Connection webinar on July 2. “Those streets right there are going to last another 20 years. That’s just the magnitude of what this costs these days.”

The repairs were not complete to include the entirety of the sidewalks. To make repairs to the sidewalks and compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, the city applied for a $3.1 million dollar grant last year that was denied.

As for streets that do not require a total overhaul, rather pothole repairs, has cost the city $26,000 for asphalt and another $26,000 will be required to continue. The cost covers what Cain said is being done with the correct method that not only looks better, but will also last a long time.

An upper hand in the competition for grants can be had when the city has money in the bank, earmarked to match the grant, sometimes up to 50 percent. Colusa City Engineer Dave Schwartz said in his years of experience with grant writing that some applicants will get the upper hand when they use money from sales tax toward a grant match. “It’s like you have some skin in the game,” he said. Without a new tax initiative or new businesses in Colusa, grants are the primary funding for the city’s street repairs.

Meanwhile, city officials are looking into new sources of state and federal funding that have been opened due to COVID-19, grants that are designed to help promote businesses and economic growth which can include the roads.

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