City to Seek Unity Street Improvement Grant

 In Featured News, General News, News

Atchison city commissioners voted unanimously Monday to apply for a Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program grant that would transform Unity Street in the same design concept as the 2nd Street Corridor Project completed in 2019.

The resolution authorizing the grant submittal was part of Monday’s regular commission meeting that also authorized a franchise agreement with Rainbow Communications, authorized some concrete improvements throughout downtown and gave initial go ahead to the build out of Arbor Lane in the Brookdale Neighborhood.

The Unity Street grant request will seek more than $1.1 million from the TA program, which would cover 80% of the project costs. The city would be responsible for the remainder of the funds. If successful, Unity Street would get new curbs, sidewalks and lighting from 2nd Street west to 13th Street. The improvements would likely be completed in either 2022 or 2023.

The grant application will include a phasing provision, which would allow the project to be split into two smaller projects over multiple years and funding cycles. The application is due in November and expected notification of awards would be sometime in 2021.

The 2nd Street Corridor Project completed in 2019 improved curbs, sidewalks and lighting from Commercial Street to Mound Street.

The Arbor Lane build out would add up to 48 new buildable lots to the Brookdale subdivision and would connect Arbor Lane to Harper Drive. Currently Arbor Land starts at Lakeview Drive, going north to a dead end. The drawing of the newly platted subdivision includes two small offshoots from Arbor Lane, with new courts – Arnie Court and Fore Court. The build out would extend the neighborhood east to the western property line with the Bellevue County Club golf course. The project would provide infrastructure such as utilities, streets and curbs.

The Arbor Lane project would be funded by city general obligation bonds that would be assessed to the properties in the new subdivision for repayment.

Monday’s approval was only one step in the process to get the Arbor Lane project underway. The land must first be re-zoned, as it is currently zoned Agricultural and needs to be zoned Residential for homes to be constructed. There is a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday to consider the re-zoning application. The P&Z Commission will decide on recommending the re-zoning, which would have to be approved by city commissioners at a future meeting.

The franchise agreement with Rainbow Communications gives the company access to city rights-of-way as it does its infrastructure build out to provide local internet and phone service to Atchison residents.

The concrete improvements will include some small-scale curb and sidewalk repairs throughout downtown Atchison, as well as replacing the entrance to Jackson Park and curb and sidewalk replacement on the north side of Main Street from the intersection of 14th Street moving west for a portion of the block. The total cost for the concrete work is expected to be about $96,930.

The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19.