City government

Council to decide on how to fix Lake Boulevard bike path

By From page A1 | February 26, 2013

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What: Davis City Council

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Watch it: Live on Comcast Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, and as streaming video online at www.cityofdavis.org/media

The rubber meets the road at Tuesday’s City Council meeting for a plan to fix the bike path along Lake Boulevard in the Stonegate subdivision in West Davis.

Roots from several Italian stone pine trees lining the parkway next to the path have pushed up dangerous folds of asphalt there, forcing the city to close the walking/biking path on the west side of the street between Marina Circle and the entrance to the Stonegate Country Club, 919 Lake Blvd. The closure, which has been in place since late 2011, prohibits all pedestrian and bicycle traffic there.

In addition to the path, the tree roots also have cracked portions of Lake Boulevard itself and damaged an adjacent storm drain.

Michael Mitchell, the city’s principal civil engineer, will recommend to the council — which will be asked to choose from among five ways to address the bike path problem — a “full solution” that would include replacing the entire asphalt path with concrete, grinding down the roots affecting the path and also removing several of the most problematic trees.

The plan also would repair the cracking in the street and gutter.

While this option will cost the most up front at about $282,000, the comprehensive project, Mitchell says in his report to the council, could ensure the integrity of the pathway and the street for decades, with minor upkeep.

Residents who live near the pathway, however, have opposed trimming roots, much less removing entire trees, which could jeopardize the vitality of the stone pines.

If council members favor keeping the trees, they could pick a second option that simply maintains the asphalt by trimming the problematic roots and then laying down new asphalt patches to repair the bumpy pathway.

While this plan would cost only about $86,120 up front, it would require regular maintenance of the greenbelt, costing about $5,000 every two years for the next 30 years. It also does not address the street and gutter issue.

The City Council meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers of City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. The item is scheduled to be heard at about 8:05 p.m.

The meeting can be seen live on Comcast Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. It also will be streamed live on the city’s website, www.cityofdavis.org/media.

A full list of Mitchell’s recommendations, including pros and cons of each of the five options, can be found on the city’s website under City Council meeting agendas.

Regional wastewater treatment option

Rather than investing a few hundred thousand dollars up front, staff will recommend via the consent calendar Tuesday the formation of a panel made up of wastewater industry experts to advise the council on whether to dedicate any further resources to looking at a regional partnership with Woodland for wastewater treatment services.

Staff originally had suggested that the council spend about $500,000 on a study that would have analyzed the regional project, before going full steam ahead on the local wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation plan the city has been working on for the past few years.

Staff estimated that a regional partnership for wastewater services could potentially save the city $30 million over the next 30 years over the $95 million it estimates the local project would cost.

But council members, who have heard the recommendation on two separate occasions already, have been wary of investing the money for a project that may lead to a dead end.

If the council approves the panel, the group would come back on April 9 with recommendations on whether the council should further consider the regional plant with Woodland.

Legal closure for city

The City Council will be asked to officially sign off on two settlement agreements Tuesday, which, if approved, will bring closure to two long-standing legal disputes regarding the Davis Area Cooperative Housing Association and Crown Castle, formerly known as NewPath Networks.

The agreement with DACHA will send $315,000 to Neighborhood Partners and Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation for the remaining amount left on a judgment owed to them by the now-dissolved housing association. The two organizations had been suing the city with a wide array of allegations about the way it handled the housing association and its eventual dissolution.

If the council adopts the second settlement agreement, Crown Castle will drop all complaints against the city.

The council in June 2012 formally agreed to allow Crown Castle to attach antennas on utility poles throughout town as part of a 25-node “distributed antenna system” network that the company says will improve cell phone quality in Davis for MetroPCS customers. For use of city property for some of the sites, Crown Castle will pay about $14,000 per year.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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