Committee backs $15,000 driveway reconstruction

The Public Works and Planning Committee has approved a recommendation to reconstruct a driveway that was modified as part of the East McCarty Street project.

At the committee meeting Thursday, city staff said they had denied a request from Nick Rackers, with Nick Rackers Heating and Cooling, to reconstruct the driveway to his business on East McCarty and lessen the slope. The driveway was modified as part of the East McCarty Street project, which was a $4.1 million city/county project that included widening the road to three lanes, a new signal at Eastland Drive and new sidewalks.

City engineer Matt Morasch said the driveway’s original slope was 7.5 percent and, after being modified during the project, is now about 14 percent. He said most vehicles are able to use the driveway, but those with longer back-ends have issues scraping against the asphalt.

Staff denied the request because overall the driveway functions fine and the slope is not outside of regular city specifications. Morasch also said Rackers was not willing to help pay for the estimated $15,000 cost of reconstructing the driveway.

“That’s a little outside what we would normally do,” Morasch said.

The committee opted to recommend the city cover the full cost of reconstructing the driveway because the situation was caused by the city’s project.

“We created a situation that wasn’t there before,” said 3rd Ward Councilman and committee chair Bob Scrivner.

Fourth Ward Councilman Bill Luebbert said though the city is in a tight financial situation, the problem had to be addressed.

“I know that money’s a problem, but it needs to be fixed,” Luebbert said.

The committee’s recommendation will go to the full City Council for review.

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