City Council rejects street improvements near Westside Primary School

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Neighbors thought they had finally found a compromise, a new way to pay for two horrid streets that form an L around an elementary school.

The city council did not see it that way.

“It’s important to me because the safety of children is at stake,” said Karen Wagner.

Neighbors and relatives asked city council for help on Tuesday afternoon. Two streets bordering Loveland Elementary in the Westside neighborhood are an auto repair shop’s dream.

“My concern is pedestrian safety, the lack of accessibility for people with disabilities, and damage to vehicles from potholes,” said Carolyn Roeder.

A previous survey from 6 On Your Side highlighted decades-old issues in September. The neighbors thought they had a viable solution.

The city would cover 60% instead of the usual 50%, or about $ 600,000. Adjacent landowners would inject 10%, about $ 15,000 each, and the school district 30%.

“Without your help, it will be double for owners. And I wouldn’t blame them if they dissolved it and we went back to zero, ”said Ryan Palmer.

Omaha has hundreds of roads that look like this from Florence to Elkhorn, from southern Omaha to District 66.

A few years ago the city didn’t pay a dime to bring an unimproved road up to standard and then decided it was wrong a few years ago. In the end, the council rejected the deal to repair the road by Loveland Elementary.

Because of fairness.

After all, elected officials wondered what about other neighborhoods where the city only pays half, not 60%.

“It can be awkward and frustrating and I wish we could support them all 100%. Frankly I think the city should pay for this. But the cost would be astonishing, around $ 300 million,” said Pete Festersen, member of the municipal council of Omaha.

“I wholeheartedly support the city contributing to these roads and bringing them up to city standards. Is there a way to get back to those who paid 50% and give them the extra 10% back? I’m just thinking of the fairness and fairness of what we’ve done, ”said Aimee Melton, member of Omaha City Council.

At this time, Ridgewood and Poppleton will not see an upgrade. So what’s the next step?

Neighborhood leaders say it’s really in the hands of the landowners and the school board.

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