At Tuesday's study session the Grand Island City Council looked into underpass repairs and how to pay for uranium removal from the community's drinking water.
Grand Island's Eddy Street and Sycamore Street underpasses are structurally sound, but GI's public works director says the 60 year old structures are in need of repairs.
"We're going to focus on Sycamore first," says John Collins. "We did repairs to Eddy last year that's looking pretty good, so this summer we're going to do some more patching there to buy us time."
Collins says it will take about ten years to fully rejuvenate both underpasses, and they're planning to use capital improvement funds to pay for it.
"My best guess is we'll spend about a half million next year on Sycamore that will get the drainage corrected and the riding surface corrected," he says.
Collins says they're still dividing up the projects, so the total cost for the underpass repairs is unknown.
On the other hand, citizens will be seeing a cost increase soon as the city's uranium removal project moves forward.
"We're looking at a $3 million capital cost for the project that we hope to be able to refinance some existing bonds we have and maintain the same service payments that we have now," says GI Utilities Director Tim Luchsinger.
But Luchsinger says the equipment will cost $800,000 a year to operate, and that's money the utilities department doesn't have.
"The bad news is that we're looking at about a 20% revenue increase that we're going to need," he says. "The good news is that equates to about $2.50 a month for a normal household, so it's a hit, but it's not as bad as what it could be."
Luchsinger says Grand Island's uranium rates in drinking water are below the EPA's Maximum Contaminate Level, but have been increasing, so he says this treatment system is a proactive solution that can be added to if necessary in the future.