The second phase of Strasburg’s Streetscape Project likely will begin in the next week, Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.
The council unanimously approved a motion to award the project to Lantz Construction of Winchester for $1,175,700. The council also awarded the town’s Route 11 Pedestrian Improvement Project, or “Gateway Trail Project,” to G.B. Foltz Contracting Inc. of Mount Jackson for $1,084,886.
Pearson met with Lantz Construction and members of the Virginia Department of Transportation on Wednesday morning and said he expects the project to begin next week, once the town issues a “notice to proceed.”
From that point, he said, the contractor will have a 180-day window to complete the second phase of the Streetscape project, officially called the Strasburg Downtown Enhancement Project.
“We’re excited to move forward with these projects,” Pearson said.
There is no start date yet announced for the Gateway Trail Project, which will entail building a 5-foot-wide sidewalk and meandering 10-foot-wide trail connecting the downtown to the Food Lion shopping center north of town and ending at City National Bank.
Pearson offered assurances that his staff will be in contact with downtown businesses and residents to alert them of the construction timeline for the Streetscape project and any schedule changes that will affect them.
The goal, he said, will be “to try to make that impact as easy as possible for everybody.”
The Streetscape project includes improvements to the downtown. Phase II will concern improvements to King Street and Holliday Street — including new LED street light fixtures and crosswalks near the intersection of King and Massanutten.
Two amendments to the projects were approved in a 6 to 1 vote, with Councilman Ken Cherrix voting against the measure.
The Gateway Trail Project budget amendment request required moving $630,000 from the general fund balance to cover the town’s share of the project. The town is funding $629,934, and VDOT is funding $517,437. Though the project was originally funded through a 50-50 grant, the town now has a larger share of costs because it had to transfer money from the Gateway Trail fund to the Queen Street Bridge project.
The Streetscape budget amendment request involved moving $290,000 from the general fund. The town’s share is $252,898 and VDOT’s share is $1,011,595. The town requested funding additional costs of $37,101 for the replacement of old street lights with new LED lights
Pearson explained on Wednesday that Cherrix wasn’t comfortable funding the new LED lights as part of the measure.
“He would have liked to see that as a separate budget amendment,” Pearson said.
Also at the meeting, the Town Council unanimously approved the release of a right-of-way on property owned by the Shenandoah County Industrial Development Authority.
Town officers were also reappointed for the coming fiscal year: Pearson as town manager, Strasburg Police Chief Wayne Sager, Director of Finance Angela Fletcher, Clerk of Council Amy Keller and Town Attorney Nathan Miller and his law firm, Miller, Earle & Shanks PLLC of Harrisonburg.
The council’s next work session has been postponed from July 15 to 7 p.m. July 22. National Night Out will be held on Aug. 6 at the Town Park.
Attending the meeting were Vice Mayor Scott Terndrup, Town Manager Wyatt Pearson, and council members Ken Cherrix, John Massaud, Emily Reynolds, Kim Bishop, Barbara Plitt and Jocelyn Vena. Absent were Councilwoman Taralyn Nicholson and Mayor Rich Orndorff Jr.