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A special meeting of the Richmond City Council was called last night to approve agreements with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for Surface Transportation Program (STP) funding for three projects. STP funds are 80 percent funded with a 20 percent match by the city.
The first agreement is for a master transportation plan for the city. City Administrator Rick Childers said the 20 percent match funds would come from a variety of sources including private funds. Childers said some of those funds have already been collected.
The second agreement is for the Safe Routes to School grant that is also a 20 percent match. This grant would construct a sidewalk along Spartan Drive between East Main Street and South Street.
The third agreement is for a street overlay project that includes Thornton Street from South Street to Highway 13. Childers said there are two stretches a block long on the street that will not see overlays because they were done last year.
In addition, Wollard Blvd. from East Main Street to Highway 210 would be overlaid.
Childers said the 20 percent match for those projects would come from the transportation tax.
Originally the two overlays were separate agreements, however MoDOT has allowed the city to combine the agreements. Childers said this would reduce some of the costs.
Third Ward candidate Kathy Garner addressed the council with some concerns about federal money drying up. She also had some questions about the agreements.
“If the federal government decides they’re going to cut back on the money for these infrastructure projects we could be out all of these other costs,” she said.
Childers said it’s possible the government could stop all contracts, but indicated he did not think it would be likely. He also said there cannot be any changes to the agreements if the city wants the funds.
“MoDOT has a way of doing things and that is the only way you can access their money,” Childers said.
He said about $300,000 has been approved and is waiting for the city to use. The hold up is paperwork that must be filed. The process started last September and the city is now getting the paperwork back.
“This is one more step in a process that has been going on for over a year,” Childers said. “It’s taken that long to produce (the agreements) and these are boilerplate. If those funds are not obligated within a certain time frame, they are lost.”
The council approved all three projects unanimously.