The Neosho City Council gave final approval Tuesday to updated agreements with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission that will allow additional funding assistance for East Spring Street improvements.

The Neosho City Council gave final approval Tuesday to updated agreements with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission that will allow additional funding assistance for East Spring Street improvements.

Planned projects include a sidewalk replacement, new trail, curb and guttering and asphalt overlay for portions of East Spring Street.

The additional surface transportation program funds, disbursed from the federal government to states and allocated to cities by the state, will cut the city’s total overall cost down by $200,000.
The project’s total estimated cost comes out to nearly $700,000, with MoDOT and Missouri Development Finance Board funds paying portions of the project.

Neosho City Manager Troy Royer said the total cost to the city comes to $56,774.

“That money will come out of street contracts,” Royer told council. “We currently, as of the May 2013 financials, have $175,000 in the budget for street contract work.”

Council voted to approve both agreements, with councilman David Ruth dissenting.
The East Spring Street project dates back to 2007.

Royer said the city was obligated to follow through on the East Spring Street improvements, after a former city council had obligated the city to the project by spending grant money on engineering services.

Royer said if the city failed to complete the project, they would be required to pay back the grant funds.

“We’ve talked a little bit about not appreciating getting obligated to things from prior years, but, moving forward we’ll be able to take a hard look at any new projects,” said councilman Charles Collinsworth. “To get out from under this for $56,000, I’m thrilled with that.”

The project’s 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.
The city will then continue the sidewalk from the tracks to the Lampo Center, at 500 E. Spring St., outside of this project.

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.

A new overlay of asphalt will also be poured on East Spring Street, starting from the Washington Street intersection going east to the other side of White Avenue.
The project also includes curb and guttering.
Council members also accepted a notice to proceed for Strukel Electric to begin work on runway lighting at the Hugh Robinson Memorial Airport.

Mayor Richard Davidson said the lighting has been out since a storm in May 2011, and has forced the airport to operate dawn to dusk.
Work is expected to start as early as July 8 and be completed within 60 days.
The runway lighting project cost is not to exceed $316,635 and is being funded 90 percent by MoDOT with a 10 percent local match.

In other business:
• Council voted 3-2, with councilmen Steve Hart and Ruth dissenting, to approve an agreement with Allgeier, Martin and Associates for engineering services, and with Construction Services Group for the labor, to re-do the staircase in Big Spring Park.     

• Council voted to accept a bid from Long Electric to provide electrical services for the water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant at a rate of $44.50 during business hours, $70 after hours and $90 during holiday hours, as well as a separate bid from Long Electric, for the same rates, to service the rest of the city’s facilities. The second bid was accepted contingent on the contractor signing the agreement. Council also voted to table bids for the city’s HVAC and plumbing services, due to concern about the lack of local bidders. The two services will be re-bid.  

• The council also voted to purchase two additional filtering units for the Neosho swimming pool from Pool Supply World, for a charge of $980.98 each. City workers will install the filters.

• Council voted, on first reading, to amend Chapter 405 of the city’s ordinances, which would change the height limitations on signage from 45-feet to 90-feet if within a half-mile of an interstate highway. The change is intended to encourage economic development and growth along Highway 86 and Highway 60, in areas visible from Interstate 49.

• Council approved a budget amendment to reflect the cost of the airport mapping project. The project cost was estimated $3,000 short of the actual cost of $17,000. The project is being funded $13,385 by federal funds, $2,619 by state funds and $996 from the city.

• Council voted, on first reading, to approve two requests to re-zone two properties on East South Street, at 607 and 609 East South, from District R-1 First Dwelling to R-2, second dwelling, to allow property owners to build duplexes.

• Council approved amendments to the Neosho Municipal Golf Course budget to reflect the change from contractor to city-run services.

• Council voted to renew a maintenance agreement for the Neosho Police Department’s Live Scan equipment. The annual maintenance fee is $3,505.66 and is split between the Neosho Police Department and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.  

• Council approved a budget amendment for the wastewater equipment budget, to cover the $27,000 needed for repairs at the Shoal Creek Plant, as well as an additional $20,000 to cover unexpected repairs through the end of the budget year.