May 19, 2005

City Pursuing $50,000 Grant For New Signs, Sidewalks

Faced with a May 27th application deadline, the Memphis City Council voted 4-0 to proceed with an application for the MoDOT Enhancement Program to try to secure a $50,000 grant to fund new welcome to Memphis signs as well as the construction of new sidewalks and curb and guttering at several public sites.

Dave Shoush from Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission met with the council at a special May 16th meeting to discuss the application.

Shoush presented an application for funding for three granite signs as well as 2,000 square feet of sidewalk for the Boyer House, the pool park and the Downing House.

The MoDOT Enhancement Program makes federal transportation money available to the states to fund projects such as landscaping, signs, and bike and pedestrian improvements. The MoDOT District 3 in Hannibal received $700,000 for the 2005 program.

Shoush stated that the Macon District had already closed its application process where more than $3 million in applications were received. He anticipated similar figures for District 3, meaning only one in every five applications would be approved.

If the Memphis application is accepted, the city will be required to match $10,325 in funding, or 23-percent of the total project cost of $51,825. The city would also provide $1,500 in in-kind labor.

Roughly $3,760 of the city funding would be provided by the existing municipal match for local sidewalk and curb and gutter improvements. City ordinance establishes reimbursement of a $1.25 per square foot of sidewalk and $7 per linear foot of curb and gutter.

“The park sidewalk at the pool is something we are going to have to do anyway, and that’s basically a third of our investment in this grant so it makes sense” stated Alderman Ron Gardner.

The council agreed that the sign details could be worked out when and if the grant is approved later this year. Shoush stated he didn’t believe the city would learn the fate of the application until November or December.

Shoush pointed out that if the grant is approved, the city could spend up to $34,525 on the new signs and receive reimbursement from MoDOT for 77-cents per $1 spent. However the city would not be required to spend that much.

“This action simply empowers us to pursue the funding,” Shoush stated. “There is still plenty of work to be done on the details as far as the types of signs that would be purchased as well as where they would be located.”

In other business, the council voted 4-0 to approve a building permit submitted by Farley’s Oak Ridge Furniture and Gift Store for the construction of a 55’x120’ warehouse to be located directly north of the east half of the current store building.

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