Service director Bill Harvey's plans for street and sidewalk improvements remain before Bexley City Council, but changes could be on the horizon.

Service director Bill Harvey's plans for street and sidewalk improvements remain before Bexley City Council, but changes could be on the horizon.

Last May, Harvey proposed obtaining $8- to $10-million in bonds to pay for the work. In December, Harvey said he planned to ask council to approve a plan to sell $3-million in bonds to fund street and sidewalk repairs.

City council member Rick Weber has requested a special council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 to continue discussions on several matters, including street and sidewalk repairs.

Another potential funding option for street and sidewalk improvements has emerged in President Obama's proposed stimulus package, Weber and Harvey said.

In his first two proposals, Harvey said he wanted to pay off the debt from the bonds by using part of the $800,000 in property taxes that the city receives each year through its continuing street levy.

He suggested that the city might want to consider borrowing while interest rates were low.

"Council seemed receptive to the idea," Harvey said.

But now that interest rates have gone up and there's a chance construction costs could fall, the plan might not make as much sense, Harvey said.

"I'm not sure it makes sense today," he said. "Before the logic was borrow cheaply at 5 percent, save 15 percent in annual increases."

Harvey also said he doesn't want to use the city's money to finance repairs that later could be funded by the federal government.

"I don't want to go to bid now if all of a sudden Obama has a $500-million stimulus package and pay higher costs," Harvey said. "I don't know that it makes as much sense today as it did 10 months ago."

The city also has money in its water and sewer fund. Harvey said he was looking at replacing some water lines in conjunction with the street repairs to avoid having to tear up roads a second time.

Harvey said he has prepared a list for council of the streets that need to be repaired.

Weber said the question remains of how many projects to take on. Council already has committed to replacing sidewalks at a cost of $1-million, and the economic stimulus package being proposed by Obama puts a new wrinkle in the discussions.

"The question is are we being premature?" Weber said.

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