Plans Moving Ahead for Starke Street Upgrades in Hamlet

The Hamlet Town Council is nearly ready to award quotes for over $200,000 in improvements to Starke Street. Plans call for the road to be rebuilt from Plymouth Street north to U.S. 30. The work will include drainage improvements and a new sidewalk along the west side of the road.

Engineer Lee Nagai has been helping the town with the effort. During Wednesday’s town council meeting, he presented members with draft versions of bid award letters.

Walsh & Kelly has offered to complete a large part of the work for $177,100, while the concrete portion would be handled by Covenant Concrete for $46,000. That includes the cost of a second driveway that was recently requested by Starke County Co-Op.

Nagai said he’s still finalizing the specific arrangements with Co-Op General Manager Virgil Brown. “I talked with Virgil the other day and let him know what the amount was,” Nagai said. “He didn’t seem like that was going to be a problem. I did send this to him. I just haven’t had a chance to follow up.”

Nearly $161,000 of the cost of the Starke Street improvement project will be covered by a Community Crossings grant from the state. Nagai believes it will be money well-spent. “I think it’s good for everybody,” he said. “Co-Op’s going to get a good driveway and a good entrance, and we’re going to get our sidewalk and a good apron. So I think that’s a win for everybody.”

Nagai hopes to schedule construction work for the last week of March, to coincide with spring break at Oregon-Davis Schools. But before the main project can begin, a culvert underneath the road has to be upgraded to accommodate the sidewalk. Nagai plans to discuss the project with Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler and Surveyor Bill Crase, to see if the culvert work could be done over the winter.

Meanwhile, council members said they were happy with the wording of the agreements with Walsh & Kelly and Covenant Concrete. Final versions will be prepared for them to consider during their next meeting.