Neosho City Council members voted Tuesday night to approve the city’s pursuit of a Missouri Department of Transportation Program Enhancement grant.

Neosho City Council members voted Tuesday night to approve the city’s pursuit of a Missouri Department of Transportation Program Enhancement grant.

With the MoDOT enhancement grant, the city is responsible for paying 20 percent of the project costs, while MoDOT commits to pay 80 percent.

“This would allow us to continue development of the Morse Park trails system,” said Dana Daniel, development services director. 

Funding from the grant would go to support the engineering, design and construction of a new trail in Morse Park, starting from the existing trail, located south of North Wood Street, near the historic Combs House, and running south along La-Z-Boy Drive, until connecting with the Lampo Building parking lot.

Dependent on the costs associated with the project, the trail could also form a T, and connect with the existing skateboard area in Morse Park, as well as continue east until reconnecting with the existing trail.

Council members also plan to pursue at least one other additional project if approved for the grant.

“This grant allows projects in the historic preservation side to be included and my question is, should we consider adding to this application the stairs at Big Spring Park based on their historic significance and their need for repair?” Mayor Richard Davidson posed to council members.

The council was in agreement that the preservation of the stairs could also fall under the terms of the MoDOT enhancement program grant.

Troy Royer, Neosho city manager, said the city has received the MoDOT enhancement grant in the past, which has gone, in part, toward funding the upcoming improvements to Spring Street.

Royer said those improvements include resurfacing Spring Street, from the old Fry and Gray Building at Missouri Highway 86, to Washington Street, as well as providing a new sidewalk, connecting the Neosho Square to the Lampo Building, at 500 E. Spring St. 

The council also approved a preliminary application for a Region M grant, to help fund projects at the Neosho Recycling Center.

The Region M solid waste management district covers Newton, McDonald, Vernon, Barton and Jasper counties.

The grant could fund labor, building repairs, dock plates, forklift clamp attachment for discharging containers, glass shredder fabrication, or electrical connections for the existing building south of the Neosho Recycling Center.

In other business, council members:

• Voted to approve an agreement between the City of Neosho and Freeman Neosho Hospital, allowing the Civic to be used as an alternate care site in the event of a declared emergency.

• Voted, on first reading, to amend the budget for the fiscal year 2013, to include an increase of $12,482 to the Lampo Building’s facility maintenance budget. The increase will cover the costs associated with the installation an exhaust, hood and fire suppression system.

• Considered and opted to table a vote to authorize use of the hotel/motel fund to provide a one-time local grant, in the amount of $10,000, to support the Neosho Holiday Classic High School Basketball Tournament. Davidson said the city had donated to the tournament in years past, and had not received equal recognition for their sponsorship. He requested that Royer confirm that sponsorship would be recognized, as well as collect information regarding if the tournament has resulted in a surplus of funds. Council members also discussed changing the language of the donation, to, up to $10,000. They plan to revisit the issue at a future council meeting.

• Voted to amend the electric service agreement, authorizing the replacement of a streetlight along Hickory Street, between Jefferson Street and Washington Street. Mike Hightower, public works director, said the current bulb size, 11,000L MV is too large. The light will be changed to a 16,000L HPS bulb, which is expected to decrease the city’s monthly payment by $2.27.

• Voted, on final reading, to award bids, including; a bid of $34,706.44 from Professional Turf Products, to supply a new mower, roller set, and thatching reel for the Neosho Municipal Golf Course; a bid of $12,482 from Schnelle Sheet Metal for the installation of a hood and fire suppression system for the Lampo Building; several annual bids for the public works department, including; a bid from Kemp Stone for rock, a bid from Brenntag Mid-South for chlorine and PAC, a bid from Fort Bend for polymer, and a bid from Mississippi Lime for hydrated lime, a bid of $56 per ton of hot asphalt mix and $68 per ton of cold asphalt mix from Blevins Asphalt, a bid from MFA Oil Co. for bulk fuel for city vehicles, a low bid for concrete from Neosho Concrete, and a bid of $65 per ton from Kunshek Chat and Coal, Inc. for rock salt; as well as bids of $41,400 and $6,180.91 for water meters and water line repairs respectively, from HD Supply Waterworks.

• Voted to accept a bid of $79,800 for PRO-CT to provide the city IT services, as well as to authorize the city manager to hire an in-house junior IT professional. Royer said $110,000 was budgeted for IT services, and he believes the agreement with PRO-CT, as well as the hire of a junior IT professional, should be able to stay within that budget.

• Voted to appoint Connie McClusky to a vacancy on the City-County Library Board and to reappoint Kevin Bartley to a term on the board of adjustments-zoning. The council also announced vacancies that exist on the board of appeals; economic development sales tax committee; parks, recreation and golf course board; the planning and zoning commission; and the senior citizen committee. If interested in serving on any of these advisory boards, contact city clerk Nora Houdyshell at 451-8050.