Work could begin on East Osage improvements as early as mid-October, according to Dan Rahn, city engineer.
The city is seeking bids on the road improvement project that will make East Osage look like West Osage with vintage streetlights and trees.
New curbs, gutters, sidewalks, trees and vintage lights will be installed from Seventh Street to the Red Cedar Inn.
Funding for the improvement is a combination of a federal grant and a community improvement district (CID), approved by the majority of property owners along East Osage.
More than 100 property owners were asked to sign petitions requesting formation of the CID.
Approval of the CID required a mix of yes votes that included both the majority of property owners and a majority of the property within the district.
Retail businesses located within the CID boundaries will collect an extra sales tax to generate revenue to pay for the improvements.
The mayor will appoint a CID board to guide the funding program.
The city is continuing to collect signed petitions for the project because a two-step process is required for formation of the CID and setting the amount of the additional sales tax.
Before retailers can begin to collect taxes, a second election will be held, with registered voters who live within the district, voting to set the amount of additional taxes. Voters could be the same individuals who signed the petitions if property owners live in their property, or it could be individuals who rent from property owners.
“It’s the residents who will vote on the tax amount,” Mayor Herb Adams said.
The city is looking at from a half cent to 1 cent additional sales tax to be collected for as long as it takes to repay the cost of the work — but not to exceed 20 years.
A transportation improvement grant, approved by East West Gateway, put $1 million into the $1.4 million project. Using revenue generated by the CID, the city will pay 20 percent of the cost, plus some engineering costs for a total of $446,325.
Work will include new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, vintage lights, trees, approximately 13 new storm sewer inlets and 375 feet of new storm sewer pipe.
Bids for the work will be opened Sept. 26. Work would begin by mid to the end of October.
The contract calls for a 135-day construction period.
“We could see a completed project by the beginning of spring, or mid-spring at the latest,” Rahn said.
West Osage improvements, which coincided with the rebuilding of the eastbound Interstate 44 entrance and exit ramps at LaMar Parkway, was funded through a partnership with MoDOT and a CID made up of the businesses within the district.
Two CIDs were formed to raise funds to help pay for the improvements — a Viaduct Street CID and a West Osage CID.
“We had good experience when we went to the property owners to talk about a CID,” said Mayor Herb Adams. “Pointing to West Osage, we were able to show them what their section of Osage could look like.”
Both East and West Osage have attracted retail development recently.
A free-standing new Dollar General store was opened on East Osage in April 2012.
A Save-A-Lot grocery store is in the process of developing on West Osage.
“There is no question that the improvements on that section of Osage are what attracted Save-A-Lot,” said Adams.
The mayor said other retail developers have contacted the city in recent months indicating that new retail stores and malls are being planned.
“With improved infrastructure Pacific has an opportunity to attract those developers,” he said.