Star Valley Budgets For Road Work

Projects could cut into town’s reserves

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Star Valley residents should expect to see a lot of roadwork underway over the spring and summer.

The Star Valley Town Council discussed several road projects at its April 1 meeting, hoping to improve safety and cost-effective maintenance, said Town Manager Tim Grier.

Early in the young town’s incorporated history, the town paved or upgraded most of the problem roads. But some now need a new round of maintenance.

Two areas identified for work are the low water crossings on Sprague Ranch Road and Moonlight Drive.

The town contracted with Sunrise Engineering in Payson to do the technical plans for the projects. At the April 1 council meeting, Dave Dirren of Sunrise Engineering presented the probable costs of both projects, advising the numbers still needed further refining.

The work on Sprague should cost $114,000, while the Moonlight Drive project should cost $64,000. Both projects require surveys and engineering before construction begins. Dirren’s cost estimates reflect all three elements.

The council asked Dirren to just move forward refining the numbers for the low water crossing on Sprague Ranch Road.

Discussion on the crossing project for Moonlight Drive will resume later.

However, the council did give its approval to another road project for Moonlight Drive — Roy Haught Excavating will clean the ditch and remove a fence along the cut bank on Moonlight. The work should cost a little more than $2,600.

The Star Valley Town Council also approved the following projects for roads:

• Building shoulders around a culvert on Mountain View and on Claxton, plus placing riprap around the Mountain View culvert;

• Filling cracks of one-quarter inch and larger on Knolls, Dealers Choice, Mountain View, Claxton, Switchman, Pinon, Moonlight, Houston Creek, Hillside, Springdale, Sunbeam, Rainbow, Pineridge, Valley Road and Haught Road; this would include blowing out the cracks with air and one application of hot, rubberized crackfill; and

• Patches on Moonlight, Dealers Choice, Pinon, Claxton and Valley Road, which would involve making sawcuts to the pavement and filling with eight inches of new base as well as special edging where needed.

Budget planning

The road project decisions came up in the council’s first discussion on the 2014-2015 budget.

The council considered seven options. Several versions of the budget would bring the surplus below the $2.6 fund balance the council had set.

The option with the planned road projects showed $2.7 million in the fund balance. It also shows:

• A projected end of year (June 2014) amount of $3.2 million in the town coffers;

• Allocates $264,430 for restricted expenditures, which includes $13,000 for liabilities, $3,730 restricted, $112,700 for CDBG 1 leverage, $50,000 for CDBG 2 leverage, $10,000 for engineering fees, $35,000 for the main (water) line installation and $40,000 for the town park’s first phase;

• A $100,000 reserve for the emergency fund ($50,000), the second phase of the town park ($40,000), weeding and FireWise work ($5,000) and miscellaneous water department costs ($5,000).

The council must take several added steps before adopting the preliminary 2014-2015 budget. During the balance of April, the town staff will compile a more complete analysis of anticipated revenues and expenditures, finalizing the estimates during May.

The council work-study meeting and public hearing on the budget is planned for May 20. The public hearing to adopt the tentative budget is June 3; with the public hearing to adopt the final budget on July 1.

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