June 20, 2002

Highway 136 Corridor Group To Meet June 26

Three new board members will be elected at the meeting of the Highway 136 Corridor East group June 26 in Unionville. State Senator John Cauthorn and State Rep. Sam Berkowitz as well as members of District 2 of the Missouri Department of Trans-portation (MoDOT) will be present to discuss highway issues.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Putnam County 4-H building, which is located in City Park, three blocks off Highway 136 on Highway 5.

The group, which represents the north Missouri citizens and communities that rely on Highway 136, will be electing at-large board members to serve Clark, Schuyler and Mercer counties. Corridor members Clifford Shipley, Hazel Smith, Jack Gray and Tom Deberry have been appointed to a nominating committee by corridor chair-person Cathy Middleton. They will generate a candidate list for each opening. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor the night of the meeting. The position is for a two-year term.

The government officials will update the group on the recently passed transportation funding bill that will be voted on by the general public in the August election.

Senate Bill 915 will ask the voters to approve a four-cent increase (from 17 to 21 cents) in the state gasoline tax in addition to a cent increase in the state's general sales tax.

The latter would be distributed as follows: 78 percent to the State Road Fund; two percent to the Missouri Qualified Ethanol Producer Incentive Fund and the Missouri Qualified Biodiesel Producer Incentive Fund; and 20 percent to the multimodal fund which requires at least one third of the fund to be spent on capital improvements.

Second District Rep. Bob Behnen and Third District Rep. James Whorton also have been invited to attend the meeting.

"The corridor group is pleased to have representatives of state government attending the meeting," said Middleton. "Their commitment to solving the state's transportation problems as well as their strong commitment to constituents in their own area and surrounding areas is evident by their attendance. It also provides an excellent opportunity for people to share opinions and ideas relating to the future transportation in Northeast Missouri."

MoDOT Assistant Engineer Mike Herleth will answer questions on current projects and give an update on the Highway 136 by pass in Lucern as well as the road realignment project in Princeton.

The organization's fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. Dues can be paid and range from $20 for an individual or business to $400 for cities of populations greater than 5,000. Counties may join the organization for a fee of $175 and cities have a sliding pay scale from $25 to $400 based on population.

The organization represents Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, and Clark counties as well as the city of Keokuk, IA.

Corridor group meetings are open to the public and Middleton emphasized the importance of good attendance to stress the importance of transportation issues in this region.

"The meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for people to speak with state representatives and MoDOT about our roads," she said. "We are concerned with all transportation issues in the corridor area, not just those directly connected to Highway 136. Citizens travel many miles on numbered and lettered state roads in the corridor area."

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