Blair will have eight additional blocks added to an asphalt project after the initial 20-block project to resurface streets came in under budget.

The additional streets include:

• South 17th Street from Lincoln to Grant streets

• Butler Street from 13th to 17th streets

• Jackson Street from west of Second Street to Third Street

• Grant Street from 11th to 12th streets, including the south side of 12th Street intersection

The estimated additional cost will be $101,000, making the total project cost just under $330,000 based on estimated quantities, Public Works Director Al Schoemaker said.

The council approved a change order for the project.

Omni Engineering was awarded the bid last month. The company also will be resurfacing state Highway 91 in Blair for the Nebraska Department of Transportation. That work is expected to begin July 20. Schoemaker expects the city's work would be done in conjunction with that project.

Ordinance approved to finance improvements in paving districts

The council approved an ordinance authorizing the issuance of general obligation various purpose bonds not to exceed $1.5 million to pay for the street, water, and sanitary sewer improvements in the Northern View and Transformation Hill.

“This is part of the total financing package,” City Administrator Rod Storm said. “The other part of that financing will be the TIF bond that you will see at probably the first meeting in July.”

The bonds were initially to be taken out in March, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Storm said there will be additional interest.

However, he said the city should get a low interest rate. As of June 23, the rate was at 2.36 percent for 20 years.

Planning commission to review blight, substandard study

The Blair Planning Commission will review and make a recommendation on the 2020 blight and substandard study at its July 7 meeting.

The study covers the Blair Core area and the South Highway 30 area.

Council approves funds for housing study

The council approved $2,400 to participate in a county housing study requested by Mike Rooks, Gateway Development Corporation executive director.

The funds are a portion of $15,300, needed for the study. The total cost is $30,000. Other villages and cities, including Arlington, Fort Calhoun, Herman, and the county have also contributed.

Rooks said Gateway will apply for a Nebraska Investment Finance Authority grant for the remaining $14,700.

Rooks said several developers have asked for a countywide housing study, which he said can also help with revitalization projects.

Council member Brad Andersen asked Rooks to have the study capture with the City of Blair has done since its last housing study 3 ½ years ago.

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