MONTCLAIR - A $500,000 proposed street improvement project in the southern part of town may have cleared its first approval from the council at Monday's meeting.

But it does not have the endorsement of a resident who says she expects to be impacted by the project.

The project will improve construction of curb, gutter, sidewalk, pavement, street lights and sewers. It also includes the addition of a northbound lane to Monte Vista Avenue between Mission Boulevard and Howard Street.

At Monday's meeting, the council adopted a resolution stating that the project did not pose a negative impact to the environment. It was one of the requirements the city had to follow in order to received a California Transportation Commission grant.

Marilyn Staats, deputy city manager and director of economic development, said the project is expected to cost $500,000, but construction is estimated at $360,000. The transportation grant would cover half of the construction costs, $180,000.

Staats said the city would use transportation-related development impact fees to pay for the remainder of the costs.

But resident Christine Whitacker attended Monday's meeting to voice several concerns about the project, many stemming from a previous improvement project along her street.

"The Carlton paving project that started in May of 2012 was a complete nightmare," she told the council.

The longtime resident said the last time work was done on her street, dust kept getting into her home, her fence was moved and never properly placed in position and street access was limited. She was also concerned the city would take some of her property for the project.

City Engineer Michael Hudson said the project, as of now, does not include legally taking property.

"Our intent is to complete the entire project with no right-of-way acquisition at all," he said.

Hudson acknowledged that he was aware of the issues brought up by Whitacker, including the dust problem. For the future project, Hudson said the city can require the construction company to use more than just water to keep the dust down.

The city will keep Monte Vista open for two-way traffic at all times during construction. Trash and mail pick up would not be interrupted, Hudson said.

At Monday's meeting Staats also announced that the city will be holding a special meeting on Thursday to swear in recently re-elected council members Carolyn Raft and John Dutrey.


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