February 11, 2010

City Weathering Winter, Preparing for Spring Projects

Despite a long, hard month of cleaning up after Mother Nature city crews demonstrated at the February 4 Board of Aldermen meeting that the City of Memphis is preparing to launch several enhancement projects once the weather finally breaks this spring.

The city crews got recognition for their efforts during the public participation portion of the meeting.

“These guys really take care of our needs,” said Dr. Harlo Donelson. “It has been a tough winter, and we want them to know that we appreciate what they do to keep us going.”

Street Superintendent Roy Monroe discussed prospects of securing enhancement grant funding through the Missouri Department of Transportation targeting connectivity and safety projects.

Monroe suggested a project to create sidewalks on Clay Street (Business Highway 15) connecting the city’s downtown area with Legion Park and the municipal swimming pool. The proposed plan would also include widening the access intersections of the side streets along this stretch that enter Highway 15 basically from Madison Street to Missouri Street.

The superintendent noted that the grant funding is an 80/20 match. He stated the City of Kahoka currently is working on a project being funded through MoDOT enhancement grants.

The Memphis Cemetery will also be receiving some upgrades this spring. The council authorized Monroe to contract to have the main entrance gates re-painted. He reported that the propsoed scatter garden at the cemetery is still awaiting delivery of the memorial dedication stone commemorating the benefactors that have made the project possible. City crews will try to take advantage of some of the down time created by the poor weather to construct an 8-foot gazebo that will be placed at the site as well.

Federal and state transportation funds will soon insure that the Briggs-Smith Memorial Airport in Memphis will meet FAA requirements to perform instrument-based landings at the facility.

The council agreed to enter an agreement with the engineering firm Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. to perform the necessary designs to implement an IFR system at the local airport. The process will be funded by Federal Aviation funds administered through the state block grant program under the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Superintendent Dave Kittle reported the city electric department will be seeking a grant through the solid waste management district to upgrade the department’s chipping equipment. The program could pay up to 75% of the cost to purchase a new 12” chipper. The city’s current machine is approximately 10 years old. The estimated cost for the machine is $30,000.

The council opened bids for the second phase of a major upgrade to the electrical distribution system. The bid for the structures and equipment to install the new 12 kV substation was awarded to TriVis Power Substations, Inc. of Pelham, AL. Four bids were received and reviewed with the TriVis bid of $106,366 being recommended by the city’s engineers BHMG of Arnold, MO.

The project estimated a delivery time of 16 to 18 weeks.

The proposed substation will eliminate the bottleneck in the city’s delivery system, which currently relies on one substation to control all power delivery into the city.

In other business, the council approved a change to building code that reduces setbacks for property owners constructing buildings. The setbacks remain 25 feet from the front of the property and 10 feet from each side, but the council agreed to reduce the rear setback on the property from 25 feet to 10 feet.

“This just makes sense, allowing the landowner a little more control of their own property,” said Alderman Lucas Remley who had suggested the change.

The board of alderman also discussed the city animal control issue. The city recently paid $500 to the Adair County Humane Society in agreement for receiving as many as 20 unclaimed dogs from the city of Memphis at the Kirksville animal shelter.

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