The city has received a $1 million federal grant to build sidewalks on East Osage.
The city will bear 20 percent of the cost of the project under terms of the matching grant.
The project extends from Seventh Street to Clear Creek Road, located east of the Red Cedar.
Aldermen authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the project, not to exceed $1,097,042 in cost.
The project will be constructed using surface federal transportation program (STP) funds. MoDOT design criteria will determine construction criteria and specifications.
The STP provides flexible federal funding that may be used by states and localities for projects to preserve and improve the transportation system consistent with regional priorities. Known as a soft match, the city will be allowed to use its own work force for some of its portion of the match.
No business will be disadvantaged during the completion of the sidewalk project, City Administrator Harold Selby said.
When the project is completed, the city will accept maintenance of the sidewalks, streetlights and ongoing maintenance improvements as a part of its street system.
Receiving the grant does not mean the city will abandon the idea of creating an East Osage Community Improvement District (CID), according to Mayor Herb Adams.
“We still need a CID to complete the full scope of improvement projects on the east end,” Adams said. “We still have a need to improve First Street and Fourth Street at Osage in order for that area of the city to reach its potential.”
Boundaries of the proposed CID would include both sides of Osage Street from McDonald’s to Red Cedar Inn. Officials have identified 101 properties within the district.
If property owners approve a CID, retailers in the area would collect an additional half-cent to 1-cent sales tax.
It was always intended that CID revenue would be combined with grants and other funds to construct a streetscape of vintage lights and trees to match those being installed on West Osage, Adams said.
Officials say an election will be held asking property owners to approve the CID. Only property owners within the CID would vote on the issue.
If approved, the CID would be managed by a board of directors made up of property owners and possibly city officials.
Adams favors presenting the CID proposal to East Osage property owners.
“The east end of town needs our attention. I hope this plan will work and bring improvements to that side of town,” he said. “We’ll have new investors and we’ll see progress on that part of town.”
Adams asked critics of CIDs to come forward with a better idea for improving the eastern section of the city.
“This is the first major opportunity where the city was willing to put some tax money for that part of town,” he said.