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After years of discussion and planning, Oregon City Council has hired a contractor to install sidewalks along Navarre Avenue to rectify a longstanding deficiency and public-safety hazard.
Council members last week unanimously awarded the contract to Cash Services LLC of Genoa for $89,210.
The 5-foot-wide sidewalk will be installed on the north side of Navarre and extend for a mile between Coy and Lallendorf roads.
The issue of the lack of sidewalks has been simmering for years. In the summer 2011, residents of the Fountain Square Apartments, 3119 Navarre, organized demonstrations to protest the difficulty and hazards of using the busy commercial corridor.
They continued to press their case last year to a sympathetic council.
The apartment building has many elderly and disabled residents who use wheelchairs and don’t drive. For them, traveling on Navarre meant using the street, a potentially risky undertaking.
Fountain Square resident Anna Shank organized the demonstrations and urged council to do something. She expressed satisfaction when told the contract had been awarded at last week’s regular meeting.
“It’s been a long haul, but I’m really relieved that they’re going ahead and doing it,” said Ms. Shank, who uses a wheelchair herself. “A man was killed Aug. 25 crossing Navarre in a wheelchair, and I was pretty enraged. We’re a community of elderly and handicapped, and it’s been hard, because you can’t go anyplace.”
Council members unanimously supported the project as necessary for public safety and the general quality of life. They noted that the cost of the concrete work came in considerably below the $120,000 estimate.
Councilman Dennis Walendzak, who chairs council’s drainage, roads, building, and lands committee, said the cost came to $17.50 per linear foot, or $3.50 per square foot.
His panel studied the issue and recommended the installation.
The cost of the pavement will be borne by property owners on that stretch of Navarre. The assessments range from $129.95 to $9,347.78 and are based on a property’s frontage size.
The city is absorbing the $24,000 cost of drainage improvements needed for the project.
Mayor Mike Seferian said half of the project would be done this year and the rest in April. Service Director Paul Roman said Cash Services’ price, the lowest of six bids, was better than property owners could have gotten on their own.
Council President Tom Susor said he’d like to see the entire project completed this year but “the fact that it’s being done is what’s important.”