The possibility of an outer road extension of Osage Beach Parkway west to Route Y moved forward despite some potential legal and financial issues, and a lack of complete enthusiasm among adjacent right of way property owners.
The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen last week approved Kevin Rucker's motion to:
•Have City Attorney Ed Rucker research the legality of the city obtaining a loan (putting the city in debt) without public approval
•Visit with right of way property owners about what additional information is needed for them to move forward with donating their land to the project
•Contact MoDOT to see how a three-phase, multi-year construction project would fit with MoDOT's financial outlook
The board held a special meeting Thursday, June 27, to discuss construction of an outer road. The outer road has been part of an on-going discussion regarding the dead-end Parkway which was closed when Highway 54 expressway opened. Business and property owners took their case for re-opening the street to the city after business on the West End began to decline.
Closing the Parkway near Lazy Days Road virtually halted east and westbound traffic west of Route KK.
MoDOT officials estimate that the cost to build an outer road is between $3.49 and $3.97 million. The city's cost could be as high as $1.3 million in a one-third/one-third/one-third cost share scenario.
City Engineer Nick Edelman prepared a detailed report that outlined both financial and construction options, including feedback from property owners from whom the city will need to obtain limited right of way for the project.
There are two financing options:
•Pay for the project outright from the 2014 budget, which would delay several other proposed projects. This option also would save the city interest money if it decided to borrow the money.
•Finance the project through the Missouri Transportation Finance Corporation up to 10 years. That could cost the city as much as $184,000 in interest.
Edelman said borrowing money would allow several proposed projects to proceed. These include: Sidewalks along Nichols Road from the yet-to-be-constructed Dogwood Elementary School to Dude Ranch Road and along Dogwood Lane from Dude Ranch Road to the Dogwood Subdivision; Phase 1 of Mace Road reconstruction from Indian Point Condos to Orville Drive.
Alderman Kevin Rucker raised a potential problem when he asked city staff to verify the legality of borrowing money without voter approval. Staff members had differing opinions, so he asked for clarification in his motion.
Water and sewer
Extending sanitary sewer parallel to the outer road is possible and could be included in the 2014 city budget. However, Edleman said water service to the area is a potential issue to meet design and fire safety guidelines. There would be very little use of a new water line until the area builds up, and the potential for stagnant water in the lines and health issues is a concern, the engineer said.
Page 2 of 2 - Right of way
In contacting property owners whose property is needed for right of way, Edleman said two are not interested in donating small parcels of their land. Other owners said they needed additional information before making a decision.
One bit of good news is that MoDOT says construction of an outer road could reduce the number of accidents on the Expressway by 40 percent.
"I don't think this is the time," Alderman Ron Schmitt said about the project. "I don't see the value of developing property that way when we have other areas that need to be developed. I can't see putting any money into this project at this time."
Alderman John Olivarri said he isn't getting a "warm fuzzy" reaction from residents with whom he has visited. "I'm not getting a feeling that this is something the community wants," he said.
"My concern, I guess, is whether this is the right time. We're trying to take advantage of the one-third/one-third/one-third cost share, but I'm not sure spending $1.3 million is in the best interests of the city."
But Alderman Fred Catcott introduced a different approach, asking if the project could be done in phases over the next few years as funds are available.
"If we can't afford to do it all, maybe we can do it in three phases. Maybe Phase 1 past the Industrial Park," he suggested.
Rucker said he felt there is a lack of enthusiasm among property owners whose property is needed for right of way.
"They don't see the value like I see it," he said. "Is there a way to phase this in? Maybe a long-term commitment by MoDOT?"
Mayor Penny Lyons said extension of the Parkway with an outer road would provide opportunities for the city to grow, and it would provide access to Osage Beach Parkway and Camdenton. She hasn't received any negative comments from constituents, and no one has spoken at public forums sponsored by the city.
"It's going to be a hard decision for the board," she said.