CENTERVILLE — The price tag of a proposed paver project has led to the Centerville City Council scraping it from consideration.

As part of the city's wastewater projects, which include upgrades to the town's wastewater treatment facilities. The project is required by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with some funding coming through the DNR's revolving loan fund.

This funding source unlocks an opportunity referred to as a sponsored project, which in essence issues a no-match grant equal to the amount of interest on the loan to do a compatible project that deals with water quality.

Centerville city administrator Jason Fraser said Tuesday that unlocks about $1.3 million in a potential grant for a qualifying project.

FOX Engineering, the firm the city has contracted with to oversee the wastewater treatment plant project, put together a list of five possible projects the city could undertake using either the grant funding exclusively, or using the grant funds in addition to other money.

Topping the list of potential projects was a roughly $5.3 million paver project for the Centerville square. It would have included drastic landscaping changes to the square and improvements to the storm and sanitary sewer, as well as new sidewalks and permeable pavers.

That estimate was initially $3.5 million, but rising construction costs moved that price tag upward. As a result, the council determined at their meeting on Monday to go in a different direction.

Instead, the council has asked FOX Engineering to dive deeper into a second potential project with an estimated price tag of $1.6 million. That project would add a retention pond area near Morgan Cline Park.

While the council has set aside a potential project on the square, it's still something that will need to be addressed eventually. The city must eventually address the sanitary and storm sewer within the square, addressing water drainage areas, and replacing the road and sidewalks.

"It's kind of back to the drawing board on that, to address each one of those issues," Fraser said. "I don't know if that project is fully going away but it's not in the forefront right now."

In other action:

— After the council opted to remove consideration of the city's fiscal year fee schedule from the consent agenda, the council tabled it to another meeting.

— The council formalized its agreement with Outdoor Alliance Group, a manufacturing company that will be relocating to Centerville's industrial park from Minnesota. The city has offered a five-year tax abatement of an estimated $170,000 for improvement at the site. The city is also allowing the company to start on a septic system until more businesses locate in the area to warrant a connection to the city's sewer system. Fraser said due to the company's low water use, connecting to the system now would be detrimental to the city's utilities.

— The council approved the purchase of a new police patrol vehicle, a 2021 Ford Police Interceptor Utility for $34,155.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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