MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Muscatine City Council may have little choice but to pay $40,000 to repair the lights that adorn — but currently don’t illuminate — the Norbert F. Beckey bridge.
The city agreed to maintain the colored, decorative lights until 2028 when it accepted a $100,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation in 2008, the year the lights were installed.
If the city doesn’t, it might have to cut a check to the state of Iowa.
While researching the terms of the grant, Muscatine Public Works Director Randy Hill discovered the 20-year maintenance commitment.
“Failure to comply with this provision,” the agreement states, “may be considered a default of this agreement,” which would give the state the right to seek repayment of the grant.
The city council is scheduled to decide whether to spend the money during today’s 7 p.m. meeting.
The $40,000 for the repairs would come from an internal advance of funds with an agreement to repay the advance from the city’s tax increment financing coffers. Other payment options would be to include the cost in the city’s next bond issue or to take the amount from the city’s general fund.
Muscatine Power and Water has agreed to pay $20,000 of the $60,000 estimated cost, and Muscatine’s Musco Lighting has already spent money and invested employee time repairing the lighting conduits.
Musco Lighting contributed $255,253 on the original project; the city’s share at the time was $10,000. Muscatine Power and Water budgets $20,000 per year for maintenance costs.