Vienna City Council advances Streetscape Project

VIENNA — Vienna City Council voted Thursday to move forward with the Streetscape Project aimed at improving both sides of Grand Central Avenue from 25th to 34th streets.

“We have decided to begin at 34th Street and work our way to 25th,” Mayor Randy Rapp said.

Rapp said the city was awarded $143,000 in two grants for the project.

“The city will be in charge of matching 20 percent,” Rapp said.

Ninety percent of the drawing and cost estimate for construction has yet to be completed by Burgess and Niple engineering and architecture firm. Rapp said an estimated total cost will be given at that time.

“At that point we will have a better cost estimate, timeline and idea of what to expect with the project,” Rapp said.

Council member Roger Conley expressed concerns on voting to move forward with the plan, not knowing the overall cost.

“I am in no way against the project. I am only concerned not knowing what our 20 percent will be,” he said.

Rapp said council’s vote to move forward only includes the use of $28,000 from the city and $114,000 from the state.

“We can alter this how we see fit; if we don’t need new lights, we can focus on other aspects and keep making improvements until the money is gone,” he said.

Council is looking to bring sidewalks and other portions of Grand Central Avenue back up to code and create safer roadway conditions.

After the allocated funds are depleted, additional work can be discussed by council, Rapp said. He noted that the city is still filling out grant paperwork for the project.

The garage at 400 31st St., owned by the city since 1976, will be put up for sale. According to Rapp, the building will be put out for bid, which will be reviewed by council at a set time and date.

“We will give legal notice prior to the bids,” he said.

Today is Arbor Day, and Vienna will be planting a tree in celebration at 10 a.m. at Jackson Park.

At the next council meeting on May 9 there will be an in-depth conversation concerning the Johns Manville site, not only Spencers Landing, but the rest of the property as well.

Provided information will include a timeline for work on the riverside and test results from the site, Council member Jim Leach said.