The City of Laurie is pursuing a grant and donations on a couple of community enhancement projects.

The City of Laurie is pursuing a grant and donations on a couple of community enhancement projects.

The board of aldermen is getting a cost estimate for engineering work from city engineering firm Bartlett & West on a large sidewalk project that would loop through the city. The engineering services would determine a realistic scope of work and cost estimate to apply for a Missouri Department of Transportation enhancement grant.

Sidewalks and bike paths are the highest priority among the city enhancement committee's proposed projects due to their appearance and functionality, according to committee chair Ron Holtz.

"Connectivity" is the key idea behind the project, he said.

While the committee is developing a master plan for sidewalks and bike trails, they are now proposing a plan primarily for a sidewalk loop through the heart of the city. The proposed path would run along Hwy. 5 from around Dollar General to Central Bank then loop it down Route O to Laurie Care Center and back into the Hillbilly Fairgrounds. The path would then go through the fairgrounds to connect to the beginning of the loop in the Dollar General area.

With help from the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments, the committee is working on an application for the grant to complete as much of this loop as possible but are now needing more specific information. They are currently looking to apply for a $500,000 grant that would require a 20 percent match either monetary or through in-kind work from the city, according to Holtz.

A Lake of the Ozarks West sign is the other big project the committee is working on.

A site has been selected on the east side of Hwy. 5 just south of the Shrine of St. Patrick Catholic Church.

According to Holtz, the landowner has verbally agreed to sell a 25'x50' section of property to the city for the sign.

The proposed sign would be similar to the Lake of the Ozark sign recently erected on the east of the lake off the Hwy. 54 Expressway.

With a smaller hillside, the Westside sign would be about half the sign with lettering around 4 feet tall. The sign is to have multi-color lighting capability as well.

With land procurement, sign and concrete expenses, the project is estimated to cost between $50,000-$60,000.

The committee is taking on the task as a donation-only project. Mark Shellenberg of Central Bank is heading up fundraising with local businesses. Monetary donations will be funneled into the city's account and the city will pay the expenses.

Mayor Herb Keck called the sign a "community pride project."