Before approving Tuesday night a $196,654 change order for the construction of new sidewalks on North Main Street, members of the City Council wanted two questions answered:
• From where would the money come to pay the additional expense?
• When would the work resume?
The answer to the first question - approximately $130,000 from the retirement of the Stardust TDD will likely be used, plus some half-cent sales tax revenue - is a bit clearer than the answer to question No. 2.
Councilman Mike Dobson wanted to know if the project could resume as early as next week.
City Engineer Mark Rees initially suggested to the Council it would be an “aggressive” time line that would have the project under way by next week. However, Rees later seemed to leave the door open to work on North Main resuming next week.
“With any luck we’ll start next week,” said the city engineer.
Approval of the revised plans, which among other things will no longer feature two-tiered sidewalks, will include two raised intersections and a new storm water drainage system, was granted locally by the city’s Historic Development District Commission (HDDC) at its February meeting.
It was suggested that the HDDC’s OK would make securing the mandatory approval of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) a formality. However, almost two months after the HDDC meeting, SHPO has yet to give its blessing.
Because state dollars are helping fund the project, the Missouri Department of Transportation must also sign off on the plan revisions. While no resistance is anticipated at MoDOT, as of Thursday morning the city still lacked the state’s approval.
“From my understanding, (MoDOT’s) Bob Manzke was going to wait (to give) his final approval until he got that action at the City Council and the SHPO approval. Once those two come in Bob is free to give his approval and he has already telegraphed that it will be forthcoming quickly,” said Rees.
While it’s conceivable that work could have resumed before approval was given by SHPO and MoDOT, Rees didn’t think that was the best course of action.
“We could theoretically start demolition early being that Street (Department) forces (would be utilized), but I wouldn’t want to borrow that trouble. The approval should be coming very soon,” said Rees.
Although Bleigh Construction is the contractor, city personnel will likely be used to remove some of the new concrete that was installed in the 300 block of North Main before work was halted.
“If we had Bleigh take it out they’d want extra money and since Leon’s crews are bought and paid for we might just go ahead and use them,” he said.
Page 2 of 2 - Regardless of when the project resumes, if it is not completed by early July, work will be suspended during National Tom Sawyer Days.