But City Council is less than lukewarm about expanding the system from the downtown sidewalks.
With a $950,000 construction project on the horizon for Centertown, some are asking the city if a snowmelt system is a possibility for this section of town.
City Manager Pat McGinnis said the city's Downtown Development Authority has talked about extending the snowmelt system to Centertown in conjunction with the district's pending construction project. He said it would encompass about a block and a half, from the train tracks near Seventh Street to Beacon Boulevard.
When the original snowmelt project was engineered for downtown, there was reportedly enough capacity built into the system to bring the snowmelt to Centertown.
“Money was spent on larger pipes and pumps to provide capacity if money was available to extend it to Centertown,” Downtown Development Authority member John Naser said. “You’ve already made an investment, which opens up the possibility.”
City officials say they don’t know what it would cost to expand the system to Centertown, and the issue isn’t even on the city’s agenda at this time, McGinnis said.
“We don’t have any reliable information on how much it would cost or how we would do it,” he said. “There’s been no formal request by the Downtown Development Authority.”
During an informal discussion during this week's City Council meeting, McGinnis estimated it would cost about $400,000 to add snowmelt to the Centertown project. However, he noted that the city has not set aside funds to pay for an engineer to provide a more detailed estimate.
“We’re not, at this point, asking that snowmelt be installed,” Naser said. “We’re asking for a small amount of money be spent" for a study.
The study, Naser explained, would provide businesses owners information to decide whether or not they would want to spend the money to have the snowmelt system in Centertown.
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