Construction on the long-awaited Singleton Road/Bryant Street extension moved closer to getting underway after the Calimesa City Council approved Monday night a three-party cooperative agreement.

“We’re pretty anxious to get this going, as everyone is,” said Steve Ludwig, representative for Highpointe Development, which is responsible for constructing the connection as part of its approval process to build the final phase of homes in JP Ranch.

“Part of the problem for all those new developments there,” Ludwig said about JP Ranch and Singleton Heights, “just to get to school they have to go all the way around and it’s very crowded … This will make a huge difference to everybody out there.”

Because the connection crosses over the Garden Air Wash, it requires drainage improvements for completion. Highpointe is required to make those improvements, which will be maintained by the city and Riverside County Flood and Water Conservation District once completed. The agreement unanimously approved Dec. 3 defines each party’s obligations.

“This cooperative agreement does document how the project will be constructed and whose responsibility it will be, it will be the developer’s, and more importantly, how it will be maintained after it’s completed, these facilities,” said City Engineer Mike Thornton, who presented the agenda item to council.

Ludwig explained to council that before construction can begin, flood control board members will also need to approve the three-party agreement and he did not think they meet again until the beginning of January.

But, he said, “I think we are there.”

Councilman Ed Clark wanted to know how long it would take to finish the extension.

“So the completion date for the Singleton/Bryant connection?” Clark asked Ludwig.

“Plus or minus six months once we start,” Ludwig said, adding curbs and gutters would be included along the route to Avenue L.

City Manager Bonnie Johnson added there would be a few more things “to clean up” regarding the extension and Highpointe transferring its obligation under the agreement to DR Horton, who is buying the remaining 121 JP Ranch lots from Highpointe.

All five councilmembers – Mayor Jeff Hewitt, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Davis and Linda Molina, Jim Hyatt and Clark – voted in favor of the agreement.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution adopting risk management policies for the city of Calimesa. Staff had been working on a risk management manual for the past two years since an assessment conducted by the Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California (PARSAC), a Joint Powers Authority of which Calimesa is a member. The assessment had concluded that Calimesa lacked a risk management manual.

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