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Oak Harbor City Council to plow ahead with Pioneer makeover

The Oak Harbor City Council will discuss and likely move forward with the second phase of the controversial Pioneer Way redevelopment project at its next meeting Tuesday, April 6.

The second phase includes an engineering and design services agreement with Perteet Inc., the Everett-based engineering firm approved by the City Council in March 2009.

Downtown merchants lost a battle earlier this year to keep the street two-way. Now, they’re concerned about the impact of construction on business.

If the second phase is approved, Perteet will prepare plans for construction, underground utilities, design, landscape, street lighting and sidewalk furniture in addition to the establishment of street and sidewalk elevations, door thresholds and ADA requirements. Phase two also includes a construction timeline and utility relocation plan.

The first phase, which included Perteet’s preparation for initial engineering and evaluation of one and two-way street configurations, is complete, said City Civil Engineer Russ Pabarcus at a public works standing committee meeting Thursday morning. The City Council approved phase one in November 2009.

A third phase — the construction stage — will go before the council later this year for approval.

The agenda bill for stage two will go before the council April 6. If approved, it will authorize Perteet to move ahead with the second phase under its $748,327 contract with the city for all stages of the Pioneer Way redevelopment project. The contract fees are included in the project funding plan, said City Engineer Eric Johnston.

In a separate vote, the City Council will consider a $90,994.86 contract with an outside consulting firm, EnviroIssues, to improve communication between the city and downtown business owners and support the downtown merchants during construction.

“Our goal is a lot more focus on construction sequencing and the impacts of construction,” Johnston said at the meeting.

If a contract with the firm is approved, EnvironIssues would be responsible for “a very extensive public involvement process,” he said.

The City Council will vote on these issues, among others, at its next meeting, Tuesday April 6, 6 p.m. at Oak Harbor City Hall, 865 SE Barrington Dr. The meeting agenda and information packet are available at www.oakharbor.org.

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