Because the city’s annual street sealing program will cost less, more money can be spent for sidewalks and concrete repair work in Washington this year.

As of last week, City Engineer Dan Boyce recommended spending $40,000 this year for sidewalks and other concrete repairs.

Monday night, Boyce changed that amount and said he now is “targeting” $50,000 this year for concrete repairs.

The reason is that the low bid for the Nova Chip street sealing program this year came in at $275,400, about $25,000 below the engineer’s estimate.

The council approved an ordinance awarding a contract to the low bidder, Pace Construction Company, to seal a number of streets this year.

The contract cost could increase to $409,500 since Pace also submitted a bid of $134,100 to reseal Pottery Road from Highway 100 to Highway A.

If the Washington Special Road District agrees to accept that bid, the district will reimburse the city for the cost.

Boyce said he and City Administrator Jim Briggs discussed the cost savings and decided that “depending on the bids, we may be able to do another (concrete) project this fall.”

Councilman Steve Sullentrup said if the city has the money, it should do the work as soon as possible.

At the March 26 administration/operations committee meeting, Councilman Jeff Mohesky said a lawsuit from a person who trips on a deteriorated sidewalk may end up costing the city more.

“The quicker we can take care of these issues, the less liability we will have as a city,” Mohesky said.

Last week, Boyce presented the council with a three-year plan to improve sidewalks in areas based on the amount of foot traffic and existing conditions.

He identified sidewalks in the following areas to be repaired and the estimated costs:

The area bordered by Main, Fifth, Elm and Locust streets, $33,500; Fifth Street, $40,000; Cedar Street, $38,000; and Riverview Place/Boone Street, Edith and Rand streets and a sidewalk in front of 713 W. Ninth St., $5,000; for a total of $116,500.

“Our objective is to reduce trip hazards, not aesthetic improvements,” Boyce said last week.

Since 2006, the city has used Nova Chip instead of the chip and seal method. Streets are sealed on a rotating basis.

The list of streets to be sealed with Nova Chip this year is as follows:

Frank Street, Industrial Avenue, Hancock Street, Blue Jay Drive, Duncan Avenue, Rainbow Drive, Apple Avenue, Scenic Drive, International Avenue from Fifth Street to Wishwood Drive, Cecelia Drive, Jane Lane, Valley Drive, Meadow Drive and Michelle Drive.

Other contractors that submitted bids were N.B. West Contracting Company, $291,759.70; and Magruder Paving LLC, $298,750.10. Bids were opened March 23.

The 2012 street capital improvement budget includes $300,000 for Nova Chip sealing on several streets, $250,000 for asphalt overlays on Madison Avenue and various alleys and $50,000 for concrete work.