Crossroads: Causeway and Waynick concerns to be heard

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lumina News file photo

The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen is seeking public input regarding the intersection of Waynick Boulevard and Causeway Drive and pedestrian access between that intersection and Stone Street.

A special meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24 for the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen to hear from the public on a grant proposal for Causeway Drive and Waynick Boulevard intersection improvements and about cost estimates for server virtualization project options.

There will be a public hearing before board members decide whether to apply for the $292,000 estimated intersection project Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization grant due by Nov. 15 that would create two left-hand turn lanes leaving the beach strand and would cover up to 80 percent of costs. The town would receive additional points for funding more than 20 percent, or $58,400, of the project.

The project proposal also includes pedestrian facility improvements between the intersection and Stone Street.

Town Manager Tim Owens said the cost of the project could come closer to $400,000 depending on how much utility work the town would need to complete.

That utility work wouldnt be part of this grant, Owens said. We would have to come out of pocket for that.

Mayor David Cignotti said people have wanted the town to improve pedestrian safety.

I know that the folks on Waynick would like to have two left-hand turn lanes there, and this would improve our downtown area, Cignotti said. What I would prefer is this board go ahead and say yes lets apply for the project and then the next board, if we got the grant, would have the choice of doing it all in a year or budgeting like $20,000 a year for three years.

The server virtualization project has been discussed by board members since the budget cycle in 2012. Included in the current request for proposals, one option would take the 12 servers the town currently has and replace them with three new servers.

The 2013-14 budget includes $60,500 for the project.

Board members could also choose to continue to operate as the town has in the past, replace servers as they age or fail or issue a request for proposals for an independent comprehensive information technology assessment.

Raquel Ivins, information technology manager, said the cost estimate is based on a quote the town received a couple of years ago.

Its probably not a good number, but its close enough, Ivins said, adding that a closer figure would depend on vendors and manufacturers.

Owens said he plans to present the cost estimates for the other options, and he hopes to have input from several vendors he has called to see what they would charge, if anything, for an information technology assessment. Aldermen Darryl Mills and Susan Collins previously asked to review the RFPs.

One particular server has been giving town staff trouble, which Owens said would be a high cost to replace. He added that the project would save power and space along with getting the town up and running faster if there is a problem.

Cignotti said he feels the board should release the RFP.

I feel like weve treated this project a little differently than we would other projects, and Ive not heard any reason to not move forward, he said.

During the meeting, Lanier Parking will also give board members season update months ahead of the usual January presentation, with possible recommendations or items for the board to consider.

I like to do them at the end of the season where everything is still fresh and if we want to do anything different we have some time, Owens said.

The meeting will be held at 6p.m., at Town Hall Chambers.


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