Things are beginning to line up for McPherson’s First Street project.

Things are beginning to line up for McPherson’s First Street project.

McPherson city commissioners Monday approved a budget of $25,000 to the city’s public works department for the purchase of rights of way and temporary easements. McPherson city public works director Doug Whitacre also asked the commissioners to accept any terms and conditions of the easement acquisitions.

The decision comes after a study session on Feb. 25, when commissioners discussed bonding and easements for the project.

Nick Gregory, city administrator, said the authority given to Doug Whitacre to accept terms and conditions was to allow the easement purchases to flow more smoothly, preventing a backlog for the city.

“It’ll help prevent every single individual easement from needing to come before city commissioners,” he said.

Whitacre said he’ll still be working within parameters set by the city when purchasing easements. The $ 7 million First Street project is intended to replace McPherson’s First Street, which has fallen into deterioration due to heavy traffic.

Whitacre said the project will also straighten the center line of First Street, as well as add six foot sidewalks to either side of the road. Structures along the road will remain untouched.

The project will run from in front of The Cedars to Main and First streets. The city hopes to keep at least two lanes of traffic open on the street for the duration of the project.

The project is projected to take a year to complete, with the first phase of the project beginning after McPherson school’s spring semester.

About $6 million of the cost of the project will come from a 1 percent sales tax passed by McPherson voters last August.

About $1 million for the project will be taken from the current city sales tax.

Whitacre said the next step of the project is to secure the necessary rights of way and to establish a total bid for the project.

Joseph Tuszynski can be reached at Follow him on twitter @JoeTSentinel.