Latest News

Westover eyeing beautification as part of Holland Ave project

WESTOVER — Westover City Council indicated Monday that it wants to address beautification and pedestrian safety improvements as a part of the larger Holland Avenue project. 

The cost for new lighting, railing and some sidewalk work along lower Holland Avenue is estimated at around $250,000. 

Doug Smith of Thrasher Engineering is the city’s engineer leading parallel projects to fix Holland Avenue and replace the Dent’s Run pump station at the heart of the city’s sanitary sewer system. 

He said both projects remain on pace to be bid out in early 2024 and under way during the spring construction season at a combined cost of $8.25 million. 

The Holland Avenue work will address about 2,000 feet of the roadway, replacing broken down sanitary sewer and stormwater lines beneath the street’s surface as well as the large retaining wall that runs along its lower portion. 

“As we’re putting in this sanitary storm and sewer, we’re going to tear the dickens out of the street. We are going to tear it up from side to side,” Smith said, explaining that would be the ideal time to install conduit in the ground to support the new light poles. 

Otherwise, he added, the city will have go back and cut into the new road surface. 

“If we do this part of it, then we don’t have to go back in and do it again and tear anything up. You do it at the same time because you’ve already got it torn up, so you also don’t have those little charges,” Councilor Duane Tatar said. 

Smith is expected to present a $25,000 contract to design the beautification improvements at the council’s Dec. 18 meeting. 

In other Westover news, council finalized adoption of the city’s 1% municipal sales tax. 

The sales tax will take effect July 1, 2024, and is expected to generate approximately $3.3 million annually for the city. 

As a Home Rule requirement of implementing the sales tax, council voted to eliminate B&O taxes on manufacturing, wholesalers and amusement. 

Added together, those three categories generated a total of $35,034 in fiscal year 2022 and $26,333 in FY 2021.  

Council also lowered B&O taxes in the service/other category, from 1% to .75%, as well as in banking/financial from 1% to .50%. 

Service/other B&O taxes generated $328,371 in FY 2022 and $381,882 in FY 2021. Taxes generated from banking and financial institutions brought in $17,361 in FY 2022.