City of Beaufort seeks to continue Duke Street improvements

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 26, 2013 

  • In other business, council:

  • Discussed changes to wording in the business license ordinance. The discussion was part of a continuing conversation that will include license taxes and fees.

  • Heard a report about the downtown farmers market by Main Street Beaufort, USA, executive director LaNelle Fabian.

  • Discussed the mooring field project at the Beaufort Downtown Marina, including costs, implementation issues and providing for future expansion if needed.

  • Interviewed Stephen Murray, owner of Kazoobie Kazoos and New South Shirts, for an opening on the Redevelopment Commission.

  • Appointed Robb Wells, director of the tourism division of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, to the Tourism Management Advisory Committee.

  • Met in a closed-door session to discuss personnel issues.

The city of Beaufort hopes to continue to giving downtown streets facelifts -- and on Tuesday night, committed to putting $225,259 in local funds toward additional work on Duke Street.

City Council approved a resolution committing the funds during it's regular meeting.

The money will partially fund Phase II of the Duke Street project, which will run from Harrington to Charles streets and have a total cost of about $725,259. Phase l began last summer and wrapped by the end of 2012, according to city planner Libby Anderson.

That portion improved about 1,000 feet of Duke between Bladen and Harrison streets and cost about $475,000.

City officials hope to get another $500,000 federal Community Development Block Grant -- like the one used for the first leg. Anderson said finishing Phase I on time and on budget puts officials in a good position to win another grant.

The block grants will pay for up to $500,00 of a project, with a 10 percent local match. The remainder will be paid by the city, Anderson said.

Of the local portion, $75,630 would come from the stormwater fund, and $149,629 from the capital projects fund, she said.

Mayor Billy Keyserling said improvements to city streets should decrease future problems and costs for the stormwater system.

"By investing in this and getting it organized, we actually in the long run are saving dollars," he said.

Designs for the project show Duke will continue to be a two-lane road with each lane 10-feet wide. Both sides will have on-street parallel parking, a five-foot planted median and a five-foot sidewalk. The parallel parking will be marked by brick pavers like the ones used in Phase I.

This would be the fourth such project in the area.

The city did $600,000 in improvements on Bladen Street, between Duke and North streets, last year, and $800,000 on Bladen in 2008, between Boundary and Duke streets.

"If you take a drive down Bladen, and turn left on Duke, (you'll) note the changes and improvements we've made in that neighborhood, and it makes it feel like a future part of the city," Councilman Mike Sutton said.

Related content

  1. Beaufort council seeks 'a wonderful city' at annual retreat, Feb. 21, 2013
  2. Duke Street improvements to begin in June in downtown Beaufort, May 24, 2012
  3. $100,000 grant moves Beaufort mooring field forward, Feb, 26, 2013

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