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Riverside council approves Northern Heights plans

GTNS photo by David Hotle



Scott Pottorff of MMS Consultants discusses a few small changes to the Northern Heights project before the Riverside City Council voted to approve a resolution accepting the plans and paving the way for the first phase of the project to begin.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Scott Pottorff of MMS Consultants discusses a few small changes to the Northern Heights project before the Riverside City Council voted to approve a resolution accepting the plans and paving the way for the first phase of the project to begin.

RIVERSIDE — Work on the Northern Heights Subdivision will begin as soon as contractors can be hired and the ground is suitable for construction after the Riverside City Council Monday approved a resolution to accept the proposed plans.

The council took little time during its regular meeting to approve the plans. Scott Pottorff of MMS Consultants commented the members had discussed the plans at length during its March 19 meeting, and had a motion to approve them, but had waited until a resolution could be drafted before voting on it. Pottorff said he had been working with Apex Construction of Iowa City, the developer of the project, and was sure any concerns the council had would be addressed before construction begins.

“I think we are in pretty good shape,” he said.

Apex still is waiting for the final plans of the Tupelo Boulevard project, in which the city is redoing as part of the Northern Heights project, before beginning. The project contract for the Tupelo Boulevard project was awarded later in the meeting to Cornerstone Excavation of Washington for $663,406. The council commented one of the bidders had submitted a bid that was $20,000 higher than the next lower bid, wondering if there could have been a mistake on the bid.

“All four of the companies (that submitted bids) have done work in Riverside since I have been working here,” Pottorff commented.

Council member Tom Sexton said he looks forward to working with Cornerstone again as he made the motion to accept the bid.

Pottorff also discussed the easements that had been acquired for the project, including one from resident Gary Albernet who had asked if the city on March 19 if it could make the slope of Tupelo Boulevard, the same as the slope on Ella Street for ease of mowing. He explained in mowing the area now he has extra weight on his garden tractor to keep from tipping. He asked for less of a slope even if it went on his property.

During the previous meeting, the council had discussed the city’s advantage to changing a project as opposed to one resident’s advantage. On Monday, the council agreed to share the cost of the additional work with Albernet.

Pottorff said the changes requested might be $2,000. The council asked Pottorff to approach Albernet to see if he would be willing to share the additional expense.

The city is working to create 14 lots with infrastructure so developer Apex Construction of Iowa City will be able to construct houses on the lots to offer for sale. If the first phase goes well, future expansions of the project can bring up to 70 lots to the area.