By Dave Fidlin


“This project has been in the works for decades. We’ve got one shot at it, and it’s important we do it right.”
Whitewater council member Carol McCormick shared the above comment recently in describing the importance in properly planning for the future reconstruction of Clay Street.

Discussion of the residential corridor, one of the city’s larger capital projects in upcoming years, took place at a Common Council meeting Aug. 15.

McCormick and fellow council member James Allen live near the impacted area, and both elected officials weighed in on the planning process during the recent council-level discussion.

Chuck Nass, superintendent of the city’s streets, parks forestry departments, also spoke about the planning process. Nass said the city hosted a public information meeting in early August, and it drew about 25 attendees.

A range of issues and concerns were raised at the public information meeting, Nass said, including infrastructure and environmentally friendly practices.

“It seemed to be the consensus of the group that they only wanted sidewalks on the south side of the street,” Nass said, pointing out that the specific proposal could go before the council for a vote in the future.

Clay Street is in an area where flooding has occurred in the past. Allen at the council meeting implored impacted residents to reach out to the city so a full tally of flood-prone areas is compiled.

“We need to hear from people who live in those low areas and hear if they’re pumping water out of their basements,” Allen said.

Work linked to the project is happening in phases, Clapper said, and the tail end of the work is designed to coincide with the state Department of Transportation’s Highway 59 reconstruction project, from the roundabout to the Highway 12 bypass.

During the discussion, Allen also revealed the city has received a $500,000 grant for the project.


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