The Neosho City Council gave the green light Tuesday evening for work to proceed on East Spring Street.

The council approved a notice to proceed, which says contractors from Branco Enterprises will begin work on the planned improvements on or before Dec. 1.

The council also approved a change order for the project, at no extra cost to the city, allowing contractors 64 working days instead of 90 calendar days to complete the work.

"This would give the contractor the benefit of the doubt when facing winter weather," said Neosho's director of development services Dana Daniel.

The planned improvements for East Spring Street include sidewalk and curb and guttering from Washington Street to the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks and a new concrete trail, running from the Lampo Center to the helicopter located in Morse Park on East Spring Street.

The work also includes asphalt overlay on East Spring Street from Washington Street to the other side of White Avenue.

The project was first started in 2007 under a previous city administration.

Daniel also approached council for feedback on upgrading four streetlights on East Spring Street, replacing them with lights that match those on the downtown square.

"As Branco prepares for this project, they have identified the fact that in the first block we have four city lights that are owned by Empire," Daniel said. "Branco has stated that if the city wanted to consider upgrading those lights to match what we have on the square they'd be willing to provide at no cost foundations and conduit for those lights."
Daniel said the city has contacted Empire Electric regarding the additional costs, and learned that would add an additional $30 per month to the city's bill for each of the lights, a total of $120 extra per month.

Councilman Tom Workman asked Daniel if the streetlights in the first block of other roads connecting to the square are consistent with those on the Neosho Square.

"I believe this is the only street that doesn't match coming off the square," Daniel said.

The council did not vote on the matter Tuesday, and Mayor Richard Davidson asked Daniel to bring it back to the council for discussion in an upcoming council meeting.

"I'd rather do it while they're doing the sidewalk than go back and dig a hole and try to put conduit back in," Workman said.

"That's an additional $120 a month for four lights to look pretty that we take out of repairing streets because that's the fund it comes out of is the fund we fix streets with," said Councilman David Ruth. "So I think you know how I'll vote on that."

The Neosho City Council approved a base bid of $473,965.35 from Branco Enterprises in July, though the cost to the city is expected to be significantly less than the six-figure total, at $48,839.78.

The project is funded in large part by a Missouri Department of Transportation enhancement grant and is also funded by Surface Transportation Program Funds and funds from the Missouri Development Finance Board.

• • •

For more on Tuesday's Neosho City Council meeting, see Thursday's edition of the Neosho Daily News.