$1.5 million to help with costs of streetscape project


CAPAC — After months of creating documents, making phone calls and developing a plan, the Village of Capac has been notified all of their hard work has paid off.

Village Manager Travis Youatt said they were officially notified the streetscape project submitted by the village has been appropriated by the federal government.

Working alongside of Rep. Lisa McClain and other government officials, Youatt submitted a plan for a total rebuild of Capac’s downtown district, from building to building, east to west.

Capac Village Manager Travis Youatt (right) keeps an eye on a water line repair. Capac’s water mains are going to see updating this summer, thanks to funding received. Youatt says over 9,000 feet of line will be addressed with the project.

The project had been scaled back after Capac officials learned they would not be able to receive all of the funding requests they had submitted.

Youatt said the village received word of the $1.5 million award once it was approved in Washington, D.C. The village intends to raise another $1.5 million with the selling of 40-year bonds.

“This is great news for Capac and has been a long time coming,” Youatt said. “It was a priority of the village council, to get this project going. We just had to trust the process and had to be creative in how we presented our plan.”

Youatt said due to the timing of the financial award, the bulk of the work will not begin until 2025.

“Most of the contractors have their work for this year. We will bid this out later this fall. There is a lot of work to do before hand, some engineering and things.”

The project calls for all of the current concrete to be removed from in the front of businesses in a four block area, along with the roadway being removed and rebuilt.

The current roadway is crumbling more and more everyday and provides motorists plenty of challenges to avoid deep potholes and other damaged concrete.

“The elevated portions of the sidewalks downtown will be gone,” Youatt explained. “This will allow us to meet requirements of ADA accessibility and create a better of flow of foot traffic in and out of businesses. The street is currently a disaster. We have to address that and this (funding) allows us to.”

Although original plans had called for the replacement of downtown lighting and installing a new stoplight, those are items that fell victim to cutbacks, according to Youatt.

“We were able to save some money (approximately $3 million) by utilizing our current lighting and keeping the stoplight,” he said. “we have met with downtown businesses and are working with them to minimize the impact the construction might cause.”

In conjunction with the streetscape project, Capac has taken on a water project that when complete, will replace over 7,000 feet of four and six inch aging water mains and allow for 1,500 feet of water line to be looped.

The water project, estimated to cost over $4 million dollars, will allow for replacement of outdated valves and fire hydrants along with the replacing of galvanized lines to homes.

“We’re pretty much treating the old galvanized water lines as lead and will be replacing all of those over time,” Youatt explained. “We have 20% of those lines identified and are working to find more.”

The village manager, who has been in his position for two years, says in his time with the village, they have been awarded in the neighborhood of $12 million dollars for various projects.

“Yeah, so for a long time, there was not a lot of reinvesting done here. Things were let go,” Youatt said. “This council has been great to work with. They have a great vision for the community and we have some major work in front of us. But, it’s only going to make us a better community and open up opportunities for new business. The village hasn’t really had a lot of debt over the past 20 or 30 years in regards to doing major projects. The council decided it’s time to move forward, to revitalize Capac, and we’re excited about how these projects are going to help us achieve our goals of bringing industry and families to this community.”

Within the next few weeks, the village will see the beginning phase of a new well being drilled. A 12” steel casing pipe is expected to be installed 170 feet below the surface of the ground.

“We are guessing it will pump somewhere around 400 gallons a minute,” Youatt said. “This will give the village four wells, when the work is completed. By having this well, it will not only improve our service of treated water to our residents, but also allow for new business and new housing to tap in to the system.”

The village was able to purchase land from the Lutheran Church, a total of roughly seven acres Youatt said, to clear the way for the drilling of the new well.