The city has started the application process for a Community Development Block Grant as residents filled out a community needs assessment and expressed their thoughts on the proposed road project Monday night.

The grant in the amount of $500,000 from the Missouri Department of Economic Development in order to repair and resurface roads including Orchard Drive, Kitchell Avenue, Hibbard Street and Ridge Avenue. The total cost of the project is $697,027 and the city would pay for the remaining $197,027. The project would benefit a little more than 51 percent of low- to moderate income persons, which is an application requirement.

The board of aldermen approved a services proposal with the engineering firm Cochran in the amount of $95,762. The firm will help with the Community Development Block Grant application process, provide services for the design plans, bidding and construction phases of the roadwork.

There are three phases of the agreement, according to City Administrator Travis Dierker, and the first payment is approximately $5,000. He added that if the city is denied the Community Development Block Grant, the a city would get a refund from Cochran.

Public Hearing

Dave Christensen with Cochran discussed the project plans during the public hearing. He said the application is due May 31, and if awarded, the goal would be to start the bidding and construction in the summer of 2021. The awarded funds would need to be spent within two years.

“I would like to try to push and actually get it done next year if at all possible, so we’ll just kind of see how that goes,” Christensen said.

He showed pictures of the roads that are being considered for repair with cost estimates. To repair and resurface Kitchell Avenue, the cost is approximately $85,000, the cost for Hibbard Street is approximately $190,000, the cost for Ridge Avenue is approximately $200,000 and the cost for Orchard Drive is approximately $97,000, according to Christensen.

Next year, the city can apply for a different Community Development Block Grant for either sidewalks, curbs, drainage or storm and sewer projects. The city would not be able to apply for another road resurfacing grant, according to Christensen.

“We can’t really apply for the same activity two years in a row, so next year at this time, hopefully I’ll be back,” he said. “Maybe in three or four years, they’ll let us apply for another resurfacing project.”

Residents asked questions regarding the road project and Christensen replied with how the streets will be resurfaced.

“We’re going to do a road rehab job where we’re going to make pavement repairs where necessary, take 3 inches off, put 3 inches on. Or if we can, not go down 3 inches, but go up, so make the road better,” Christensen said.

Mayor Ron Blum said resurfacing streets “seems to be working.”

“We’ve been doing pavement repairs the last few years and they seem to be holding up very well,” he said. “We take the spots that are failing and either go in and wedge those areas or dig them out and put more asphalt in and then pave them over three inches.”

A question was asked about fixing the water and sewer lines first rather than the roads.

“This is a situation where we have an opportunity to bring $500,000 to the city. What’s your biggest need? In my opinion and obviously staff, is to resurface the road,” Christensen said. “Maybe next year come in and do the curbs and sidewalks.”

Blum agreed that the water lines do need to be repaired and that the city is addressing the issue.

“We have put in over a mile of new water and sewer lines and we’ve done approximately 2 to 3 miles of new lining on our sewer lines, which has drastically reduced the sewer backups,” he said.

Another concern was brought up of when a water line problem needs to be addressed on Kitchell Avenue, the road is not properly repaired afterward. Dierker said the city is looking at hiring a firm that would adequately fix the roads after a water line repair.

“We have two guys who work part time in the street department. We don’t really have the staff and expertise nor do we have the equipment to do a lot of those repairs,” Dierker said.

“Some of these larger areas where we’ve dug out because of water mains and stuff, we’re looking at going out for like an on-call service where we have a larger firm come in that does this on a regular basis to come in and do eight or 10 of those at a time to repair those the proper way.”

Concerns were mentioned about the condition Young Street is in.

“We know the roads are in bad shape,” Blum said. “That’s why we’re going this route to get money to start some sort of process to start fixing roads. We’re going to take the monies that we were additionally going to put in for this project and do some pothole repairs.

“The problem is we don’t have the money to fix the streets. There are numerous streets that need to be fixed. The more money we can get to help us out with road repairs, the more monies we’re going to have to do the smaller streets.”

Christensen said if the city applied to have side roads fixed, the city will not get the grant because the side roads do not benefit a large portion of residents.

“The idea is we knock out these four streets, repair them get them, good, and now the two-man repair crew won’t have to worry about those four streets. They can put their efforts and the money into the other streets to help out,” he said.

Christensen led the group in filling out the community needs assessment survey as part of the grant application.