SHERIDAN — The Sheridan City Council took a cooperative agreement off the table and approved the plan Monday evening that lays out work on Holloway Avenue.
The joint city-county project calls for $1 million in improvements to bring the gravel road to urban street standards from 11th to 15th street, including curb and gutter and sidewalk.
The deal mandates the city take ownership of 13th through 15th street — currently a county road with unincorporated residences along it — upon construction completion, a stipulation that caused concern for some councilors and led to the group tabling the matter at the March 17 meeting.
Councilor Jesus Rios was one such voice but said Monday he felt comfortable with the agreement after talking to Mayor John Heath and City Public Works Director Nic Bateson and checking out the area.
“I was concerned, really, what is that cost-burden to city residents?” Rios said. “I’m pleased to know it’s going to be minuscule when you think about the life of the two blocks in particular within the county’s area.”
He later added the city would need to provide a chip seal on the reconstructed road in a few years, but that $8,000 expenditure would be the only expense over the next 20 to 25 years.
Councilor Alex Lee, however, still opposed the agreement. Lee insisted he supports working with the county on the construction portion of the project, but disagreed with ultimately taking ownership of a street with homes on both sides that are not annexed into city limits. Right now, only 11th through 13th street are in city limits.
“The city [would be] taking on an expense in an area where we’re not being compensated to cover that expense,” he explained.
Other councilors felt the road acted as a city street. Numerous city residents travel the heavily trafficked Holloway Avenue each day to get to work, Councilor Thayer Shafer said.
Sheridan County Commission Chairman Tom Ringley spoke in support of city-county cooperation for the Holloway Avenue agreement and also moving forward.
“I’m really optimistic, and so is the Council, on the ability of Sheridan County and the city of Sheridan to act as one,” he said.
The measure eventually passed by 5-1 vote with only Lee dissenting.
Under terms of the joint agreement, the county will administer all construction. The city and county will each be responsible for 100 percent of project costs on their respective sections of Holloway Avenue, and the parties will split engineering services 50-50.
The Sheridan County commissioners and Sheridan City Council each previously passed a memorandum of understanding on how to proceed with road annexations. Holloway Avenue will be the first construction project to use the conditions laid out in the MOU.
In other business:
- Approval in the consent agenda finalized the contract between the city and IAFF Local 276 for fire protection. Firefighter union leaders and City Council members spent previous meetings negotiating the finer points of the agreement and reached a preliminary deal on March 17. The last steps were union and subsequent council ratification.
- The Council held a public hearing and then approved the first reading of an annexation of roughly 25,000 square feet on Independent Lane. The land will be zoned R-1 residential.
Sheridan initiated the annexation to rectify an awkward split in the municipal boundary caused when a parcel north of Independent Lane was annexed several years ago, leaving the small area to the south unincorporated.
A staff report found the city could provide solid waste collection and also police protection. The property already has access to central water and sewer, and the city would honor its franchise agreement with existing electrical utilities.