Embassy Streetscape $60K over budget

City Engineer Frank Frazier reported to the Henderson City Council on Monday night that the Embassy Streetscape Project will be $60,000 over budget if brick work is completed as planned.

Council member Elissa Yount said earlier indications had been that the project was within budget. She also said there was a “clear indication that the city was not putting any more money into the project.”

A federal grant of $1 million financed the streetscape project, which was supposed to be finished seven months ago.

Frazier outlined three options for the council. One option would be to do nothing, leaving dirt paths for pedestrian walkways. The second option would be to substitute concrete for brick to save $18,000. The third option would be to complete the work as planned.

Mayor Clem Seifert said the brick pavers on the library side should mirror pavers on the Police Department side.

“If we use concrete, they’ll look different,” he said. “They should match.”

Frazier said $30,000 was left over from the Police Department building budget. He also informed the council that an anticipated sales tax refund could be applied to offset the shortfall. When council member Mike Rainey asked for a recommendation, Frazier told the council he was looking for an OK to finish the project as designed, with permission to use Powell Bill funds to make up the approximately $30,000 shortage after other sources had been applied.

Powell Bill funds are provided by the state out of the gasoline tax for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, constructing, reconstructing or widening local streets that are the responsibility of municipalities.

Council member Mary Emma Evans moved to accept Frazier’s recommendation to finish the project as designed as well as use the funding sources discussed.

“That’s pretty open-ended, isn’t it?” Yount said.

Before the vote, City Manager Eric Williams informed members that Vance Tourism Director Nancy Wilson had spoken to him about moving the annual Show, Shag, Shine and Dine event from Garnett Street to the Breckenridge Street site and that finishing the project as originally intended made good sense.

The motion carried with only Yount opposed.