Grass Valley taking steps to move the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project forward at the last city council meeting. The project that features permanent modifications to Mill Street and Main Street to create a pedestrian friendly, shopping and gathering area, that is closed to traffic. However, in order to stay withing budget parameters, a number of changes are already taking place.
Sierra Foothills Construction Company successfully submitted a proposal meeting all project requirements, but the 6.74 million dollar bid exceeded the approved buget of 5 million dollars. The city and contactor met prior to bringing the bid to city council, to negotiate changes that would bring the budget back to original limit.
City Engineer Bjorn Jones says one significant change is the street surface will now be stamped concrete rather than the original approved brick pavers. The element was a costly and the less expensive alternative was identified.
A drainage change is also saving money. Jones assures the council that the change in surface material and the slope required to achieve sufficient drainage will not impact accessibility.
Another cost saving change was a significant reduction in the number of trees, and the material to create planters around the trees, that will also serve as seating. Planter will now be made of stacked rock like in the Safeway parking lot. City Manager Tim Kiser explained the reduction in the number of planters will actually be beneficial in the long term.
Kiser also assured the council there will be additional seating purchased by the city.
Other changes included manual bollards at intersections rather than an automated system, and planting younger trees.
A second part of the motion to move forward included adding back just over 300 thousand dollars in additional improvements including approximately 18 thousand for a PA and sound system with permanent speakers, almost 90 thousand dollars to create two stacked rock entryways on either side of Mill Street, and the addition of trenching and installation of up-lighting and irrigation on Main Street to link the project. The Main street lighting was not included in the original bid.
Council approved the motion to accept Sierra Foothill Construction bid, including a change agreement reducing the bid from 6.74 million to 5 million dollars, and then adding in the 307 thousand dollars in additional improvements.