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UPDATE: The Common Council voted to refer this item to the Finance and Personnel Committee.

ORIGINAL: The Common Council will consider giving the green light Wednesday night to create a river walk area along the Root River.

Board members will consider a resolution authorizing the Racine County Economic Development Corporation to negotiate a contract with Madison-based Smith Group JJR. The project is part of the RootWorks Redevelopment project, which also includes the Machinery Row project.

The $4 million project — which will take up to three years to complete — is expected to begin in 2018. Upgrades along the Root River between the 6th Street Bridge and Lake Michigan include stream bank stabilization, bicycle and walking paths, property acquisition and infrastructure improvements.

Phase one of the two-phase project will cost $114,700, but $95,000 of that is being paid for by the RCEDC/Fund for Lake Michigan Grant. The city wants officials with the RCEDC to negotiate with the SmithGroup JJR to see if they can get the city’s portion of the project reduce to $5,000 and pay for the soil boring with a Brownfield Investigation Grant.

The second part of the project would include stabilizing the stream bank, which will cost about $500,000. The city and RCEDC also plan to continue to apply for grants to help pay for the second phase of the project.

The City allocated $160,000 in its 2017 capital budget, $750,000 in its 2018-2020 capital budget and intergovernmental transfers to help pay for the project.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.