On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council took another step toward construction and completion of the long awaited East Spring Street improvements.

On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council took another step toward construction and completion of the long awaited East Spring Street improvements.

Council voted to approve a base bid of $473,965.35 from Branco Enterprises for the three-part project.
The planned improvements include sidewalk and curb and guttering along East Spring Street from Washington Street to the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks, a new concrete trail, running from the Lampo Center to the helicopter in Morse Park, and asphalt overlay for East Spring Street, from Washington Street to the other side of White Avenue.

While council voted to approve a six-digit bid, the cost to the city comes in much less than that, at $48, 839.78.

The project, which was started in 2007 under a former city administration, is being funded in large part by a Missouri Department of Transportation enhancement grant, as well as by surface transportation program funds and funds from the Missouri Development Finance Board.

With council's approval of Branco's bid, the request will now go before MoDOT to approve the contractor.
Council reviewed two bids from Branco, one using concrete for the new trail, with the alternate bid using asphalt instead.

Though the asphalt bid came in about $30,000 cheaper overall, council members said they felt concrete was the best choice in the long run.

"Historically looking at petroleum based products they've went through the roof, so it just continues to get more and more expensive to patch asphalt all the time," said councilman Charles Collinsworth. "I think concrete is probably the way to go."

Dana Daniel, the city's director of development services, said the city's already existing concrete trail has been a hit.

"We've had very positive response from our existing concrete trail down by the soccer fields, it's been very well received," Daniel said. "It's wider, more durable and the families said they enjoy it a lot more."

Troy Royer, city manager, said the project came in less than what the city had originally budgeted for. In June, the city had reported their share of the project to be $56,774, with the overall cost estimated around $700,000, though that figure has since dropped to just over $600,000.

Royer said the city's funding for the project would come from the city's streets fund.

"When we got the bids in they came in much lower than was anticipated so it's dropped our number of funding we have to be responsible for out of the street fund," Royer said.

The council voted 4 to 1 to approve the bid, with councilman David Ruth dissenting.

Royer has noted in past council meetings that the city must follow through with the project, due to a previous city council obligating the city to the project.

In 2009, the city selected Allgeier, Martin and Associates to perform the engineering work.

Because a former council spent grant money on engineering services, the city must complete the project, or be required to pay back the grant funds, Royer said.

In other business:

• Council members voted to approve deliverables, wrapping up the airport mapping project. The update of Exhibit 'A' mapping was required by the Federal Aviation Administration and the MoDOT Aviation Section, in order for the city to accept federal grant funds. The project was performed by H.W. Lochner of Kansas City, Mo. and included an account of all fee simple property, aviation/ground easements and released airport property parcels. The project cost the city $996.

• Council members approved on first reading several budget adjustments, all of which only move funds around within each department. The budget amendments included the Neosho Police Department, the street, drainage and fleet budget, the water plant and wastewater budget, and the water distribution and maintenance budget.

• Council members also approved on first reading $13,863.64 in budget amendments to cover the city's increasing telephone bill. Daphne Pevahouse, finance director, said the city's AT&T bill has continued to go up without explanation, and that the transfer is intended to cover the increased costs for the telephone and internet services. Royer said the city is also in the process of seeking more competitive bids for the service.

• Council approved, on final reading, a $100,000 budget adjustment for the wastewater line capital improvements budget, which would move the $100,000 budgeted for improvements last year into the current budget to help fund the upcoming line improvement project.

• Council voted on final reading to approve a change to Chapter 405 of the city's ordinances to change height limitations on signage from 45-feet to 140-feet if within a distance of a half-mile from an interstate highway.

• Council members voted to approve Bill's Electric, to serve as the city's alternative electric contractor when the city's primary electrical contractor, Long Electric, cannot respond to service calls in a reasonable amount of time. Bill's Electric charges $42 for business hours, $63 after hours and $84 for holiday hours.

Councilman Steve Hart recommended that the city seek alternate bidders for all city services.

n Council announced vacancies that exist on the airport industrial development board; board of adjustments/zoning; economic development sales tax committee, ethics board, parks, recreation and golf course board, planning and zoning commission, and the TIF commission. Letters of interest will be considered at the Aug. 6 council meeting. For more information on those vacancies, contact city clerk Nora Houdyshell at 451-8050.