Knoxville — City workers and streetscape contractors were treated to a free lunch on Tuesday, courtesy of Iowa State Savings Bank.
"The streetscape project is very important to our community, especially our downtown area," Bank spokesman David Hoke said. "The bank wanted to show its appreciation to the workers that are here, doing the streetscape, as well as city workers, city guys working on this project and the businesses along Robinson that have been affected by this phase."
Several of those treated to lunch, in the vacant lot next to the Knoxville Public Library, said they were appreciative of the bank's gesture. All of them thanked the bank employees, who served the lunch. The picnic was done in a similar fashion to the bank's annual customer and community appreciation picnic. Everyone was thankful that the weather was perfect for a picnic.
Earlier in the day, a progress meeting regarding the streetscape project was held. Work is still on schedule and paving is expected to begin before the end of April or the first of May. The paving contractor for the Second Street sidewalks and bumpouts is expected to begin that work the first of May as well.
The crew is working today and tomorrow, in preparation for possible rain later in the week. Before Tuesday's meeting began, a water main was struck. That will be repaired as well.
Discussion took place regarding the "planter arms" on the new street lights, intended to hold hanging flower baskets. The City has learned that the arms should hold up to 50 pounds. That may not be strong enough, and the contractors are going to ask for a higher weight capacity (60 pounds).
The City was also provided information regarding mid-street parking on Third, while the Robinson project is being completed. The engineer believes that having vehicles park in the center of the street, with one lane of traffic on either side, would be a tight fit. He recommended that the City not pursue this option. The way traffic flows along Third now also works well for the contractors. City Manager Harold Stewart intends to bring the engineer's recommendations before the city council soon.
Third Street will be the next phase of the streetscape project later this summer. Marion County Facilities Director Cal Stephens was at the streetscape meeting. He indicated that the courthouse clock tower project is progressing and the next phase of streetscape should not interfere with that project.
The next streetscape meeting, open to the public, will be Monday, May 5, at 10 a.m., at Knoxville City Hall.