Sphar, N. Main top city agenda

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, May 2, 2018

City officials hope the Sphar building project will finally be advertised for bids later this month, as contractors continue to repair the storm sewers around the building.

Monday evening, Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher presented a second change order for the storm sewer repairs on North Main Street, for an additional $27,500 for additional pipe and a new connection to the existing storm sewer system.

Part of the problem area is an old box culvert sitting under the northwest corner of the building, Belcher said. The new work will run the line so it avoids the building, which is due to be rebuilt into a public space.

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“Hopefully we can get our repair project done and not compromise it any further,” Belcher said.

North Main Street as been closed for more than a month after a collapsed storm sewer pipe was discovered. The leaking pipe eroded the soil underneath the road.

Initially, the project was going to cost about $75,000 to replace the collapsed pipe and restore the road. In April, the city commission approved the first change order of nearly $140,000 to repair other older storm sewer structures which were uncovered during the excavation.

The current total cost of the project has since grown to $242,055.

The change order was approved unanimously.

The commissioners also voted Monday to extend contracts with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for grant funds to restore the Sphar building. Belcher said the project is still in the final review process by state officials.

“As soon as they get a release of funds, we can bid the project,” Belcher said.

The 137-year-old 27,000 square-foot former seed warehouse is owned by the City of Winchester. Plans call for it to be rebuilt and converted into offices for the chamber of commerce, industrial development authority and tourism commission, as well as a welcome center for Winchester. So far, about $1.9 million in grants and pledges have been lined up for the project, though more will be needed.

In other action, the commissioners:

— approved a request to close streets Aug. 3 for a barbeque festival in downtown Winchester, in conjunction with the farmers market.

— approved a request to block Rolling Hills Lane May 20 for the Run for the Paws 5K.

— approved an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to install signs marking where the 38th parallel north passes through Winchester and Clark County.

— authorized hiring Dianna Layne as deputy city clerk and administrative assistant.

— authorized hiring Ronald D. Adams, Michael A. Flynn and John W. Quisenberry as firefighter I/EMTs at Winchester Fire-EMS.

— reclassified paramedic Steven Bellot as firefighter I/paramedic.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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