VALPARAISO | With plans for a five-point roundabout nearly finished, the city now knows how much land it will need for the project. The bad news is it also knows how much it will cost.
Stuart Summers, executive director of the city's Redevelopment Commission, told the commission last week the appraisals are in and the cost will be about $1.12 million higher than the $452,778 originally budgeted for land acquisition. The roundabout will replace the intersection of Vale Park Road, North Calumet Avenue and Roosevelt Road.
City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said the original estimate was made based on what officials assumed would be needed and on the estimated value of that property. The total of $1.5 million includes the cost of having the appraisals done, having the appraisals reviewed, getting legal descriptions of the parcels, recording the sale and presenting the offers to the property owners.
American Structurepoint, which is designing the roundabout, is being paid $70,500 for all of the work associated with the acquisition.
To help pay for the additional cost, the city got permission from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission to take some federal congestion mitigation and air quality program money slated for improvements to the U.S. 30 and Silhavy Road intersection and use it on the roundabout project.
The money will cover 80 percent of the $1.12 million, which leaves the city's share at $223,685. The Redevelopment Commission agreed to fund that from the contingency fund for a North Calumet Avenue project.
The commission also agreed to use $137,390 of the $1.5 million for the offer on two parcels owned by Urschel Development. The parcels are on the Urschel Laboratories site and across Vale Park Road in the parking lot in front of Kmart. Three other parcels also are needed, and the city has given the owners offers, Burkman said.
The commission also approved a study of the drainage in the area to determine the best way to handle stormwater. Burkman said one possible solution could involve routing it through the roundabout, so the city needs to know that before completing the roundabout plans.
GAI was hired to do the study for $73,200. The study will be completed in four months, so the roundabout design could be completed by the end of the year. The city hopes to seek bids early next year for construction to start in the spring of 2013.