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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Council gives nod to trail design costs

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  • The Neosho City Council, on Tuesday, approved on first reading a $38,000 budget adjustment, to cover design costs for a new trail to go in near the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
    The 2,750-foot long bike and pedestrian trail is being partially funded by a $210,000 Missouri Department of Transportation grant, which received final council approval in March.
    Councilman David Ruth voted against the project in March, as well as against the budget adjustment on Tuesday.
    The local cost share for the trail project is expected to be $69,500.
    Troy Royer, Neosho City Manager, said the budget adjustment was necessary to cover design work because the city had not anticipated the project would begin in the current fiscal year.
    "We didn't expect to start this project until next fiscal year but they were able to get in and get started on it," Royer said. "The construction portion will be next year, this is just the engineering they've already started."
    Dana Daniel, the city's director of development services, said the design work has already begun by Allgeier, Martin and Associates engineering firm, who the council had already selected to perform the services, for a total amount of $38,011.16.
    "The intention by the engineering firm is to have the design work done this fiscal year," Daniel said.
    The city's new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
    The sidewalk addition will pick up near where the city's last trail update left off, near the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
    The trail is expected to run along McKinney Street and continue on to a city green area, where the old Benton School was once located.
    The new trail would begin as a crosswalk and then turn into a sidewalk, going south and turning east onto Park Street, up to the former Benton site.
    Royer has spoken in the past of turning that city green space into a neighborhood park.
    The council first learned they had been awarded the grant in January.
    Council members also voted Tuesday evening to approve the Neosho Police Department's acceptance of a federal grant, intended to fund extra details for the Neosho Police Department, with the intention of cracking down on impaired driving.
    The Neosho Police Department applied for the Highway Safety Grant, a federal program administered through MoDOT, in March of this year.
    They are expected to receive $6,500, as well as two portable breath-testing units.
    "This includes money for overtime for enforcement and for two breath field test units that we use to screen the suspects prior to making an arrest," Neosho Police Chief Dave McCracken told council members.
    McCracken said the Neosho Police Department has been successful in obtaining the Highway Safety Grant in the past as well.
    Page 2 of 2 - In August 2012, the department was awarded the same grant, in the amount of $5,000.
    The current grant begins in the new fiscal year and runs through Sept. 30, 2014.
    Based on information in the department's grant contract, in the one-year time period prior to completing the contract, Neosho police identified 98 driving while intoxicated violations, as well as responded to 29 alcohol-related traffic crashes, with three resulting in serious injury and one resulting in a fatality.
    According to information in that contract, the grant money will be used to pay three off-duty Neosho officers to work between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. at random times throughout the year, with a focus on catching impaired drivers.
    In other business:
    • Council members also approved U.S. Bank to finance the Neosho Fire Department's new truck. The council approved a five-year option from U.S. Bank, with an annual payment of $72,939.17, with a 1.83 percent rate. Neosho Fire Chief Mike Eads told council the department is expecting to get the new truck by October. The new truck will replace a 1970s model.
    • Council members approved an agreement between the city and the Neosho R-5 School District agreeing to payment and terms for the position of school resource officer, which is filled by a Neosho Police Officer. The school district agrees to pay a total of nine months of salary and benefits for the officer.
    • Council members voted to lease two billboards from Russell House and David Eads to promote the City of Neosho. The billboards are located at I-49 and Highway 60, and at Highway 60 and Falcon Road and are funded from the city's hotel/motel tax fund, which is intended for promoting tourism.
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