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Author Topic: Roundabout in Keene  (Read 4918 times)

Kat Kanning

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Roundabout in Keene
« on: December 15, 2006, 12:53 PM NHFT »

Panel puts a hold on roundabout spending
   

PETER J. CLEARY
Sentinel Staff


Not wanting to be taken by surprise again, a Keene City Council committee decided Thursday to hold off on approving consultant fees for a planned roundabout until councilors know just how much the full project will cost.

The city had planned to build a roundabout at Main, Marlboro and Winchester streets this summer, but when bids for the $3.75 million project came in $1 million over budget the council decided to hold off on the construction until next year. Thursday, it considered the first new spending for the project.

Public works Director K?rt D. Blomquist asked the council for $204,069 to pay a consultant for observation, assistance and coordination on the project. Part of that money would pay for help with the bidding.

But the council's finance committee recommended holding off on approving the spending, letting City Manager John A. MacLean authorize the smaller amount needed for assistance with the bid process.


      


Committee Chairman Angelo D. DiBernardo Jr. said he doesn't want to approve the spending until he knows the full price of the project. Part of the reason, he said, is that the previous bids came in so high. While another high bid doesn't necessarily mean he'd decide against going forward with the project, he said, it would make him take a close look at it.

And the council's tentativeness may reflect the sentiments of residents.

"Not one person has told me that they think (the roundabout is) a good idea," said City Councilor Cynthia C. Georgina.

She's heard from eight or nine people, she said, not including people who call in to her Saturday morning radio show. The issue isn't the roundabout itself, she said, but the spending. There has also been talk of a new fire station and middle school in Keene.

Georgina said Keene residents are telling her they don't mind the traffic that city officials say makes the roundabout necessary.

"People are saying, 'I go through that intersection and it's not that bad,' " she said. She doesn't mind the traffic herself, she said, though she's not a frequent visitor to the intersection.

Councilor Philip Dale Pregent said he doesn't think waiting to approve the full $204,069 means councilors want to hold off on the project - unless the bids come in well over budget.

DiBernardo said high bids may also make him reconsider the project. For that reason, he said, it's best not to commit the money until necessary.

"It's just being frugal," DiBernardo said.
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cathleeninnh

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 01:36 PM NHFT »

Odd, I heard a news report on WMUR that this was about to get started, would cost $6mil, and would be completed in 2008.

Cathleen
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 06:06 PM NHFT »

Sounds like a lot of money for busting out some curbs and rearranging them and filling in the middle of the donut.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 06:26 PM NHFT »

really really lame

.... they already made it a little better by adding a lane northbound.
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David

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 01:52 PM NHFT »

I thought it sounded surprizingly expensive also.   :o
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Lex

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006, 04:15 PM NHFT »

Keene needs turning lanes.

Of course you'll also need lanes to get into the turning lanes and separate lanes to turn into the roundabout and an extra smaller lane that goes around the roundabout in case you don't feel like going through the round about. What do you guys think?  :D
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Lex

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2006, 04:17 PM NHFT »

I know some of you may ask why the extra lane going around the roundabout should be smaller and my reasoning is that this will allow us to save some money that could later be used for the bridge that would go OVER the roundabout in case the roundabout and the extra small lane are congested.
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2006, 05:11 PM NHFT »

You just suck all of the fun out of the round a bout Lex
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2006, 07:20 PM NHFT »

In and around the lake....mountains come out of the sky...
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 09:22 AM NHFT by Kat Kanning »
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Tom Sawyer

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 08:10 AM NHFT »

In and around the lake....Mama's come out of the sky...

He got to you didn't he?!!!

You bastard HOLLYWOOD!
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PinoX7

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2006, 12:58 PM NHFT »

roundabouts suck.because they only work with a low-mid level of traffic. If a certain area has alot of traffic at one time it pretty much screws everyone over.
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Lex

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2006, 08:00 PM NHFT »

roundabouts suck.because they only work with a low-mid level of traffic. If a certain area has alot of traffic at one time it pretty much screws everyone over.

That's where four lane bridges come in.
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Kat Kanning

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Keene trying to take Eaton's land by eminent domain
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2007, 07:36 AM NHFT »

Circular route for project Vote on roundabout land short, for now
   

Melanie Plenda
Sentinel Staff


Plans to take a strip of Marlboro Street land owned by former state senator Thomas R. Eaton got sidetracked Thursday night when the city council failed to garner enough votes among members to take up the issue.

But the next time it comes up, the same vote could send it forward.

The council met to discuss whether the city should take Eaton's land by eminent domain as part of the planned construction of a roundabout at Main, Marlboro and Winchester streets. Eminent domain gives the government power to take private property for public use, paying "market value" in return. Though the council voted 9-5 in favor of making a decision on the issue, that was just short of the two-thirds majority needed.

The two-thirds vote was needed to suspend a council rule that the panel cannot act on an issue the first time it comes before it. Under the rule, the issue would have to go to a committee before the board could vote to make a decision. Because the vote failed and was sent to committee, the board will only need a simple majority to pass the next time it comes up.


      


The city has been working on the roundabout project for the last three years.

It's already purchased land from the U.S. Postal Service, B&N Investors and Keene State College, said City Manager John A. MacLean. The city had been negotiating with Eaton since 2004 over the third piece: a 4,000-square-foot strip of land at 33 Marlboro St.

MacLean told council members Thursday that, at one point, Eaton was offered $18,000 and a land swap in exchange for the Marlboro Street land and was ready to go through with the sale.

However, around December, negotiations broke down and Eaton told city officials he was not going to sell the property, so they started looking at beginning eminent domain proceedings, MacLean said.

"I'm not trying to be an obstructionist," Eaton told The Sentinel. "There are a lot of issues involved. ... We got to a certain point (in negotiations) ... nothing was ever signed or anything else. And I've had a lot of, a number of people call me, against the roundabout, a number of people ... telling me 'Don't do it.' Calls to my house from people I don't even know."

He had said on Wednesday he's no fan of the project anyway.

Eaton said another issue with selling the property is the loss of income he would suffer because he leases that land to Fletcher Funeral Home, which he used to run.

Eaton said because of that, if at some point in the eminent-domain process, the issue goes before a judge, the judge is the one who decides the value of the property and what it is worth in hardship to the owner.

This, Eaton said, could end up costing the city much more than it anticipated and add to the cost of a project already over budget.

The city has already spent $600,000 of the $4.2 million project on engineering studies and property acquisition.

The lowest bid for the project, which came in late last week from SUR Construction West Inc. of Winchester, was $3,049,129, but that doesn't include $200,000 for further engineering studies, or $489,000 for burying overhead wires.

That leaves the project at least $102,968 over budget.

City Councilor Frederick B. Parsells, told The Sentinel the council doesn't have a plan in place if the amount the city has to end up paying for the land is more than it anticipated.

Voting against going forward with the eminent-domain discussion at Thursday's meeting were council members Charles H. Redfern, Arnold H. Bailey, Pamela Russell Slack, Kendall W. Lane and Cynthia Georgina.

Those voting to move forward were James Duffy, Robert H. Farrar, Philip M. Jones, Parsells, Paula-Ayn Phillips, Philip Dale Pregent, David C. Richards, Nathaniel M. Stout and Ruth R. Venezia.

Joseph W. Bendzinski was absent.

"This whole idea of taking land by eminent domain," Lane said, "it leaves a very bad taste in the community's mouth. It's very difficult to try to ram any project through on the basis of forcing somebody to give up their land."

Slack said she voted against it because it's too much money to spend on a project the community doesn't want and that may not improve traffic anyway.

Parsells said some members of the council are determined to see the project go through despite the potential that many residents may not want the roundabout. Parsells said he still thinks the roundabout is the best way to solve the downtown traffic problem, based on the studies and discussions the council has had over the years.

"We were elected to be leaders, not wind-testers," Parsells said. "Sometimes the public is wrong or not as informed."

The council's municipal services, facilities and infrastructure committee will hold a special meeting on the issue Monday at 5:30 at city hall. If approved, the issue will go back to council for a vote Thursday. Should the council decide then to go forward with eminent domain proceedings, a public hearing will be held March 12.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2007, 09:10 AM NHFT »

"We were elected to be leaders, not wind-testers," Parsells said. "Sometimes the public is wrong or not as informed."

I am the decider and I am going to decide.
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Roundabout in Keene
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2007, 09:48 AM NHFT »

...despite what the people who live here want.
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