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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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Castle Rock soon proceeding with overlay project

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A citywide overlay project is expected to begin later this month, with work to take place on multiple roadways and sidewalks throughout the city.

Contractors with Longview-based Lakeside Industries met with Castle Rock Public Works Director Dave Vorse on Aug. 26 for a pre-constriction meeting, during which they determined work to replace wheelchair access ramps on affected sidewalks will begin around Sept. 15, while the overlays themselves are expected to begin around Oct. 1.

If all goes as planned, added Vorse, the project should be completed by the end of October.

Vorse has said these overlays should be expected to last the next 20 or 30 years before needing replacement and should prove to be a better investment for the city's infrastructure than chip sealing because, while such a technique is cheaper to apply, it will only last around 10 or 15 years, causing asphalt to be cheaper in the long run, he said.

The Castle Rock City Council had awarded the project to Lakeside Industries July 28 after the company had submitted a bid of $700,745, below a $777,077 bid from Vancouver-based Granite Constriction. The bulk of funding for the project is expected to be covered by $102,000 in city contributions, as well as a $488,880 state appropriation granted during the legislature's last budget cycle.

Officials have since decided to include around $107,000 in additional items to the project, including overlays for the parking lots at City Hall and the public works shop, and the city's portion of Westside Hwy. To accommodate these additions, as well as cover the remaining costs of the base bid, the council approved an application during their Aug. 25 meeting to seek a roughly $330,000 loan from a USDA Rural Development fund.

Mayor Paul Helenberg has said, despite applying for the loan, the city should not have to increase its taxes or draw from its general fund to cover the anticipated $24,000 yearly payments, as the city's Transportation Benefit District, formed by voters in 2012, can absorb the loan payments through its $60,000 annual budget, while still being able to contribute to other road projects.

Vorse added funding for the overlay of the public works shop, estimated at $36,000, will be coming from his department's budget rather than from the loan or state appropriation, as this specific project will primarily benefit the city rather than the public in general.

He also noted, though Castle Rock has been able to regularly access such federal loans in the past, their present loan application is not certain to be approved, adding he is also not currently aware of any financial circumstances within the loan program that may cause them to reject incoming applications.

If it does come about the loan is rejected, Vorse said he is not aware how his department will fund the remainder of the project, stating such a decision would have to be made by the council.

Vorse also said, once the overlays begin, those living on affected streets will be notified before their roads will be under construction so alternative parking may be arranged. He also said he does not expect road delays to last longer than a day when access needs to be closed off.

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