On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council voted unanimously on first reading to approve a budget amendment request and add a line item to reflect the East Spring Street improvements project.

On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council voted unanimously on first reading to approve a budget amendment request and add a line item to reflect the East Spring Street improvements project.

Work on the City of Neosho's $521,000 project is expected to start this summer and includes sidewalk replacement with curb and guttering, street improvements and an additional trail.

Funding for the project comes from two Missouri Department of Transportation enhancement grants.
MoDOT is expected to provide 80 percent reimbursement.

"This project pre-dates my time on council starting in 2009," said Mayor Richard Davidson. "It was something that was done in coordination with the [railroad] crossing closings and the improvements along Spring Street. This was delayed because of the financial situation that impacted us in 2009 and 2010. I believe MoDOT is eager for us to get this done and get those funds allocated and moved through because of the delays that have taken place."

In 2009, the city council approved engineering firm Allgeier, Martin and Associates to provide design work for the East Spring Street projects, though the projects were delayed due to the city's financial struggles.

The sidewalk replacement will begin at the intersection of Washington Street and East Spring Street, on the northeast corner of the downtown square, and continue east on Spring Street up until the Kansas City Southern railroad tracks.
Mike Atkinson, engineer with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, said at a January public meeting that the sidewalks will run along both sides of the roadway.

A walking trail will also be installed, beginning behind the Lampo Center's parking lot, winding around the sand volleyball
court, and running east until the parking lot nearest the helicopter in Morse Park.

The third project will involve pouring an overlay of asphalt over East Spring Street, running from the Washington Street intersection going east to the other side of White Avenue.

Funding for the overlay also comes from a Missouri Department of Transportation grant, though it is a separate grant from that funding the sidewalks and trail work.

The City of Neosho has combined the three into one project.

Missouri Development Finance Board funds are also expected to assist in paying for the improvements.

"The key improvement here is going to be the new asphalt along Spring Street from the crossing west to the Square," Davidson said. "That road's in pretty bad disrepair, the sidewalk's in bad disrepair, now we've got the green space down there, it will make a lot of sense to get this done."

The city's green space is the former site of the Frye and Gray building, previously located at the corner of East Spring Street and Lafayette Street.

In other business, the council:

• Voted to accept a bid from IBT, of Joplin, for $6,967.10 to purchase four rotor bearings.

• Approved a bid of $8,097.58 from Fire Master of Springfield, Mo. for repairs to the emergency lighting on the Neosho Fire Department's Engine 8.

• Voted on first reading to amend the budget to allow for two projects at the city swimming pool. The projects include a new filtering system at $22,800 and a new light pole with lights for $3,382. The projects would be paid for with the remaining funds from the 2012 pool house construction projects.

• Approved a resolution authorizing the sale of approximately $3,195,000 of special obligation refunding bonds. The move allows for lower interest rates, which is expected to save the city an estimated $30,000 annually. The 2007B Certificates of Participation were financed at $4,910,000 for bridge and street improvements.

• Approved a service agreement with Deffenbaugh Industries for metal recycling at the city's recycling center.

• Approved a $775 change order with Stafford Fence for fencing at the public works building.

• Voted, with Davidson and councilman Steve Hart abstaining, to approve an amendment to the city's Electric Service Agreement with Empire Electric, to allow for the addition of two new streetlights on Fairway Circle.

• Announced vacancies that exist on the airport industrial development board; board of adjustments/zoning; economic development sales tax committee; Neosho housing authority (Oaks); and the planning and zoning commission. They also voted to re-appoint Bill Martz to his seat on the housing authority.