Whitehall Hobson work slated for two phases

The reconstruction and utility update work on Whitehall’s Hobson Street will likely be completed in two phases, one to be completed this fall and the second beginning in the spring.

Dave Schofield of the city’s consulting engineering firm SEH told the council last Tuesday that he expects the first project, replacing utilities and reconstructing Hobson from Main Street to the western edge of the boundary of the county’s new construction project, to begin Sept. 7 and be completed by Oct. 15. Bids will be opened July 28 for the project, Schofield said.

Because the city is a “few weeks ahead” of the county work on building a new Justice Center, city administrator Ashley Slaby said the city will cover the costs of connecting utilities for the new building and be reimbursed by the county.

The second larger project, from the end of phase one to the school campus, could begin April 4. Schofield recommended the city hold a public meeting to inform residents of the project.

SEH has submitted an application on the city’s behalf for a low-interest loan from the state’s Department of Natural Resources and will discuss financing for both project phases with the city Aug. 10. Whitehall will also be using a Community Development Block Grant to help fund the work.

In response to a question from a Hobson Street resident on whether property owners could work with the winning contractor to replace water and sewer lines on private property, Schofield said such an arrangement is possible through separate agreements.

“Contractors are usually happy to add this on since they’re digging anyway,” Schofield said, “but it can’t be part of the city’s contract.”

The council took no action following two closed meetings, the first on a reported offer to purchase the Whitehall Public Golf Course and a second to buy property from William Jurowski. Mayor Jeff Hauser said there will be future meetings on the golf course sale. The Jurowski property, Hauser said, could be a site for residential development.

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