After nearly three years of delay, the Depot Street renovation project appears to be back on track.
In a special meeting Monday, the Winchester Board of Commissioners approved a measure awarding the Depot Street renovation to Bluegrass Contracting and a change order to lower the cost of the project.
The Commission met Monday to accommodate Commissioner Kenny Book’s trip to Lexington during the panel’s regular Tuesday meeting.
The project includes tearing up the old bricks on Depot Street, filling the space, laying down gravel, pouring concrete slabs and laying new bricks as a surface, and building a fence along the rear of the property. It also includes installing the sewer, water and sanitary lines.
The original bid from Bluegrass Contracting exceeded the budgeted amount for the project, so the commission approved the change order that removed the fencing, with hopes of using some of the bricks recovered from Depot Street and city funds to finish the fence.
The majority of the project will be funded by a state grant through transportation enhancement funds from the Federal Highway Administration.
The change order also moved some cost to Winchester Municipal Utilities, which will now cover the water main and sanitary sewer portions of the renovation. The city’s stormwater fund also covers $52,204.
The Depot Street project has been delayed several times because of funding confusion with the state.
The Commission also approved the closing of Main Street starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, for a Shackelford Lodge No. 66 and Goldenlink Temple No. 123 of the IBPEOW of Elks car show. Mayor Ed Burtner made a motion to approve the closing but with the caveat that he will not support closing Main Street for the event next year as merchants on Main Street have complained about the closing.
Roy Hudson, speaking on behalf of the group behind the car show, said the circumstances were not normal and understood the Commission not approving the closing next year.
The Commission also approved waivers for Lt. Byron F. Schroedel and Lt. Bryan Howard that allows them to be considered in the Battalion Chief promotional process. Commissioner Shannon Cox said he felt the requirements for the job should be met completely or the requirements should be removed.
City Manager Ken Kerns said the waiver process is included as part of the process so an adequate pool of candidates would be available. Cox said he would like to revisit the process at a later meeting. He was the only commissioner to vote against the waiver approval.
The Commission also approved other streets closings, including Meadow Street from 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, for Labor Day activities and the necessary streets for the Labor Day Parade. The Commission approved closing Madison Avenue from Second Street to Third Street for activities Saturday, Aug. 25, from noon to 5 p.m.
In other business, the Commission:
— approved changes to the city’s personnel polices and procedures and the city’s police department’s rules and regulations. All references to shotgun Tasers were removed as those are no longer used by the department. The police escort services policy was also updated, though no changes to the actual policy were made.
— approved the second reading of the ad valorem tax on motor vehicles. The rate remains 19.5, which it has been for the past 28 years.
Contact Casey Castle at firstname.lastname@example.org.