Fairfax is poised to move forward with capital projects that have been going on for years.
A capital improvement budget of $ 5.4 million approved on July 7 will allow high priority projects to move forward now that an interim director of public works has been hired. City council will review project schedules at meetings in October and November.
“Fairfax hasn’t had a director of public works for quite some time,” said Mayor Bruce Ackerman.
The federally funded bridge projects on Azalea Avenue, Meadow Way, Creek Road, and Spruce, Marin and Canyon Roads have received environmental approvals and have been awaiting approval for some time, said the Acting Director of public works Jonathon Goldman to council at its September 1 meeting.
The $ 4.7 million Meadow Way Bridge project is in the final stages of right-of-way and design. If negotiations with affected owners, utilities and Caltrans are successful, tenders could open in January 2022.
Paving streets is a top priority before the rains return, and city staff are looking to complete small projects on time. If sections of road can be built for $ 60,000, city officials can negotiate a contract.
City staff plan to take a closer look at the pavement condition criteria used by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which are not adequate to take into account the needs of bicycles or pedestrians, Goldman said.
Tender plans for foundation work, structural repairs and accessibility improvements to modernize the pavilion are expected in December. The estimated $ 2.5 million project, underway since 2008, received a grant of $ 450,000 with a local counterpart of $ 150,000. In 2019, the board committed to meeting the matching grant requirement of 25% or $ 626,977 to obtain $ 1.9 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA agreed in July to cover part of the work with common funds from the city. The city had reported that for an additional consideration of $ 226,977 it could secure additional funding of $ 1.4 million for a complete renovation.
Goldman has said he is also focusing on the drought, as efforts continue to keep “the city’s irreplaceable assets of redwoods and other plants and planted areas” alive until the rains return. He said city staff were trying to repair broken pavement segments and storm sewers, “which could be further damaged and potentially damage other public or private property or even cause injury in the next rain.”
Although urgent, Goldman told council it would be “an uphill battle to find funding” for the city-wide storm sewer replacement. Other road and storm sewer repairs in the current budget that do not require additional technical studies before it rains will be a priority, he said.
Among the city’s redwoods, Goldman said he was encouraging staff to use reclaimed water. The city’s tree committee helped public works collect the parts needed to use this water and began to develop systems to collect rainwater and reuse gray water.
Project updates can be found on the city’s website at townoffairfax.org/status-of-current-projects/.