Upcoming road improvements were discussed during a recent Committee of the Whole meeting at city hall.
Street improvements under the Illinois Highway Code include Washington Avenue from Illinois Route 3/Route 111 (Homer Adams Parkway) to College Avenue, and Broadway from Henry Street to Monument Street.
The proposed improvement shall consist of application fees for federal funding of proposed projects as part of a federal Surface Transportation Program. $5062.50 currently is appropriated for improvements from the municipality’s allotment of state-distributed Motor Tax Fuel funds.
Public Works Director Bob Barnhart says the Broadway project has qualified for the Surface Transformation Program, but the city feels the Washington improvements are more urgent, so the city has requested to have those funds approved for Washington, as the request can only be approved once each fiscal year. The Broadway project, pending funding approval, would begin only after the Washington improvements are completed.
“We want to patch and overlay existing roadway on Washington from College to the Beltline,” Barnhart said. “That project is slated to begin in late 2017 to early 2018. On Broadway, we want to do intermittent overlay from (Cpl. Chris Belchik Memorial Expressway, heading towards downtown Alton) to Henry Street.
“There is a dire need for road improvements in this city, and a terrible winter played heck on the roads. It is going to take time, but we are maintaining and evaluating daily and doing our best with the limited funds we have. We do have some set aside for road improvements, and it’s not what we need, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Barnhart says the Washington project will cost close to $1 million, with about $600,000 coming from federal, ideally another $200,000 from the county and the city picking up the rest of the costs.
The city has approved the use of the parking at the southwest corner of Henry Street and Landmarks Boulevard for the Alton Farmers and Artisans Market.
The market will be held on Wednesdays from 4 until 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon beginning June 7 and running through Oct. 18.
The city looks to approve a renewal of the Alton Housing Authority Agreement for the provision of supplemental police services that provide additional accountability and a police presence to the two housing projects in Alton during a meeting Wednesday.
The agreement states “the department will provide the number of police officers necessary to perform specialized patrols to enforce all state and local laws and the Housing Authority Rules specified in this contract.”
Police officers are assigned during high-crime or high-workload periods to targeted areas. The agreement also emphasizes an increase in communication with residents and officers to develop and enhance crime prevention programs in the community. Monthly meetings with management representatives of the Housing Authority to review policies and procedures also are part of the agreement.
The department also provides training on community relations and interpersonal communication skills. An administrative liaison officer is assigned to oversee the agreement, including establishing a clearly defined process for reporting non-emergency criminal activities.
“We have had an excellent, ongoing relationship with the Alton Housing Authority for many years now,” commented Alton Police Captain Scott Waldrup.
Captain Waldrup continued by saying, “The supplemental patrols that occur as a result of this resolution are a big part of why Alton has some of the safest public housing complexes in the St. Louis Metro East area.”
The city and the Executive Director of the Alton Housing Authority each have the right to terminate the agreement with a 30-day notice. This will be the fourth year the Alton Housing Authority has agreed to the supplemental patrols, at a cost of between $35,000 and $40,000.
The new contract takes effect May 1.