The city plans to move forward with a plan to adopt, landscape and maintain the wedge of land situated between the Interstate 44 exit and entrance ramps at West Osage and LaMar Parkway, according to City Administrator Harold Selby.
Aldermen would have to agree to the maintenance project, which would call for the city to maintain the property in the future, but Selby says the initial cost of landscaping can be accomplished with enhancement grant funds.
Speaking at the Oct. 7 Pacific Tourism Commission meeting, Selby said funds were available for one-time landscaping.
“We plan to apply for a MoDOT enhancement grant,” he said. “We’d be looking at a landscaping plan that would include lots of shrubs and trees and would require little maintenance.”
Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer, said if the city did reach an agreement to maintain the site, it would have to use MoDOT-approved safety measures when men are working there.
They would be required to close the lane next to the site while cutting and post signs at a certain distance west of the site.
“It’s not an easy thing to do,” Wagner said. “But quite a few cities maintain highway areas at their entrance.”
MoDOT, which had scheduled four cuttings a year for the site, recently mowed the wedge, which greatly improved the appearance, said Selby.
Selby said he and Alderman Steve Myers are working on a landscape and sign design that would be appropriate for the entrance to the city, which they will take to the board of aldermen for approval.
Dennis Oliver, tourism commission member, said under the new rebranding Pacific program that tourism is working on, the commission would want to see the signs coordinate with other signs that have been designed.
“We want the signs that identify the city to be cohesive,” Oliver said.
Selby said the design work is ongoing.