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At the Hub of it All
“You really need to see the lights at night, that’s when they really look nice,” said Hubbard City Council member Mark Boeke enthusiastically. Boeke was referring to the eight new street lights installed as a part of the main street improvement project completed recently.

According to Dennis Kielsmeier, three-year council member, the one-block street improvement included new underground utilities for the lighting, new sidewalks on both sides of the street, curb and gutters, street lights and asphalt resurfacing and widening of the one-block street.

The idea began about two years ago (1998) when concerned citizens felt the narrow streets posed a hazard for a car when backing out of a parking space. “We agreed and decided the streets should be widened,” Kielsmeier said. Upon completion of the street work, besides the new layer of asphalt, each side of the street was made 14-19 inches wider.

But there were also sidewalks that need attention. “When you start repairing a sidewalk here and there, the level doesn’t always match and you run into problems,” he said.

“Some of the sidewalks (in front of businesses) were badly in need of replacement or repair, others were not too bad,” Boeke said. “But they wanted to keep them all uniform and do it all at once.” That part of the project would be the financial responsibility of the business/property owner.

“But we (the city) decided we’d pay for the majority of it,” Kielsmeier said. “Of the approximately $90,000 total, I think the business owners only had to pay about $9,000 of it.” That amount was assessed at 7.75 percent through their property taxes.

Both Kielsmeier and Boeke agreed not all of the business people were in favor of the project but it was a decision made by the council for the overall good and upkeep of the city.

“I was concerned about the condition of some of the walks and maybe having to condemn them for safety reasons,” Kielsmeier said, admitting he had no idea when they were originally poured. An expensive lawsuit was something the business owner could have been facing had a citizen been hurt.

Of the eight antique-looking street lights, the corner ones have five lamps, and the center ones have three lamps each. “They really look since,” Kielsmeier said.

Construction work began on the project in October 1999 and was completed before the end of the year. Lance Sharar of King Knutson Construction in Iowa Falls was engineer of the project.
Taken from Times-Citizen Newspaper.

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