The stretch of Ivy St. running along the east side of the Yuma District Hospital & Clinics campus finally will be paved.

Sort of.

The Yuma City Council approved a “temporary solution” as presented by City Manager Scott Moore, during its regular meeting last week.

A-1 Chip Seal will be putting down a double chip seal on the stretch of dirt road while in town this month for a chip seal project approved last month.

Ivy St. along the east side of YDH & C has been a stretch of contention of sorts since early last decade. That was when the Yuma Hospital District and the City of Yuma negotiated a deal in which the hospital district would get the city-owned land at the southeast corner of Yuma on which to locate its new facility, and the city would get the old hospital building as its new city hall/municipal center. (That location now is home to NJC’s first-ever branch campus, and City Hall has moved back downtown into the former Bank of Colorado building.)

It was understood when the deal was made that Ivy St. would be paved. However, it has never occurred, partly because curb-and-gutter along the whole stretch, as required in the city municipal code for paving a street to provide for drainage, has never been installed, and also partly because it would be very expensive to lay down asphalt along the full stretch, which runs about five blocks.

It has remained a sore point for citizens for a variety of reasons, particularly since it is a main artery for many to access the YDH&C campus. Paving the stretch even was identified as a top goal by those who participated in the city developing a new master plan a couple of years ago.

Well, now it at least will no longer be a dirt road.

The council, at its August meeting, had approved a contract with A-1 Chip Seal of Denver to do two years’ worth of chip sealing of city streets for $264,670.28 as no chip sealing was done last year. The city had budgeted $400,000 in 2019 for the chip sealing.

A-1’s bid was so far below the budgeted amount, it led to Moore thinking about doing something about Ivy St. He told the council during last week’s regular meeting that he talked to A-1 about it, and its representatives a double chip seal as a “temporary solution.”

Some preliminary work was done on the stretch of S. Ivy St. along the east side of Yuma District Hospital & Clinics, in anticipation of it receiving a double chip seal soon. (Pioneer Photo)

He said A-1 told him the double chip seal, which obviously would not have an asphalt underlay, would have a two to three year lifespan, possibly four depending upon the traffic usage. A-1 also included the option to have the stretch as part of a regularly-scheduled chip seal.

Moore stressed it is only a temporary solution to the dirt road, and does not address drainage. “It merely is an improvement of that quality of road,” he said.

He then presented a series of change orders to A-1’s contract that totals $48,730.60.

It includes putting down chip seal on a half-block of Sixth Ave. leading to the YDH&C campus, as well as the entrances on the east side to the YDH&C parking lot and the day surgery parking lot, and the full stretch of Ivy St. from Highway 34 north to the end of the gravel..

Council members voiced support for the project, noting it will be beneficial to the whole community.

The council then unanimously approved the change orders.

All seven council members were in attendance at last week’s meeting — Mayor Ron Swehla, and Bethleen McCall, Ryan Saffer, Dan Baucke, Steve Hoch, Luke Goeglein and Bryson Chrismer.

Economic development

Phil Riggleman, director of Yuma County Economic Development, addressed the council during last week’s meeting.

He presented the YCEDC’s request for funding from the city for 2020, which is less than requested for 2019. He said the YCEDC is backing off a bit on its funding requests from the county’s governmental entities as the YCEDC is doing well and is attempting to incorporate more help from businesses and organizations within the county.

He went over the main issues being addressed by the YCEDC, such as housing (one can find links to the housing and workforce surveys, in English and Spanish, on the Pioneer’s Facebook page, as well as at www.consideryumacounty.com. The pick up/drop off locations of hard copies are: Wray City Hall, Wray Public Library, WRAC, Yuma City Hall, Shop-All, Resource Center, Yuma Library, Eckley Town Hall, Eckley Bar/Grill, Liberty School, Lions Hall in Kirk, The Grassroots Community Center in Joes, and Idalia School.), workforce development through continuing education, and strengthening and supporting existing businesses.

More meeting

• The city received two bids for a new pickup for the Street Department. The council unanimously approved the bid from Korf Continental for a new Chevrolet for $35,880, including trade-in, which is below the $40,000 budgeted.

• The city received three bids for the farm lease of the “Pletcher Land,” the property purchased by the city earlier this year located between N. Detroit Ave. and the golf course. The council unanimously approved the high bid of $51 per acre from Harper Dairy. Stewart Powell and Kip Serl also submitted bids. The council then approved the resolution outlining the farm lease.

• A JAG Grant to the Yuma Police Department for $26,726 to purchase tablets for the patrol cars was approved on a 7-0 vote. A summation of the benefits had been presented by Officer Jerry Thompson, and Moore, who currently is providing administrative duties to the YPD, said it would be effective and efficient if each patrol vehicle was equipped with a tablet.

• The purchase of an emergency generator for City Hall for $74,018.65 was approved by the council.

• Armstrong Consultants and ?Dibble Engineering both made presentations to provide airport engineering services to the city for the Yuma Municipal Airport. Armstrong has fulfilled that role for the city since 2001, except for 2005-09 when the city went with another firm. The council voted to continue with Armstrong Consultants.

• The police chief job description had not been updated since 2002, so the council approved a revamped job description during last week’s meeting. (The council currently is in the process of searching for a new police chief.)

• The city had to appoint a new representative to the 911 Communications Board since the chief of police is the representative, and the city currently does not have a chief. Moore recommended appointing Kerianne Josh of the Yuma Ambulance Service to complete the two-year term, which comes up again in 2020. Saffer, who is a dispatcher, noted there is a requirement for 51 percent of the 911 Communications Board to consist of law enforcement in order to have access to information system, and appointing Josh would bring the board below that threshold. Moore said he asked about that and was told that would not be an issue. The council unanimously approved Josh. The vote was 6-0 since Saffer abstained due to a conflict of interest.

• The council approved an expenditure of $5,675 to Colorado Analytical for required tests of the city’s water supply. Five tests already have been done this year, and five more will be completed before the end of 2019.

• Moore told the council that the Rural Communities Resource Center had requested the city to waive the fee for the RCRC’s use of the Yuma Community Center for its recent 35-year anniversary celebration. The fee for non-profits is $10 per hour, and the total fee was $40. Moore asked if it should be on the agenda item, since it was first presented at last week’s meeting. However, council members noted the city had recently squared away the non-profit rate so it was fair for everyone, and it if approved waiving the RCRC’s $40, then all non-profits would want free usage of the community center. It also was stressed the city and council greatly appreciate the services and work provided by the RCRC.

• Moore informed the council the Main Street Water Tower finally is back in service after the water tests all came back in fine shape.

• An executive session was held at the end of the meeting to receive legal advice from city attorney Kathryn Sellars. The closed-door session lasted about 30 minutes, after which the council adjourned after reconvening in public.