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Council OKs funds for third phase of streetscape

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During its budget work session Monday, the Sedalia City Council preliminarily approved funding to finish part of the city’s third phase of streetscape projects.


“The streetscape project came out of the 2008 city comprehensive plan and the DREAM strategic plan,” said Community Development Director John Simmons. “The project includes replacing all surfaces from building to building — completely redoing sidewalks, crosswalks and curbs and integrating new lamp posts and signal lights.”


Phase 1, Main Street from Lamine to Osage avenues and Ohio Avenue from Main to Third streets, was completed in 2009 for about $2 million. Phase 2, Ohio Avenue from Third to Fifth streets and around the Pettis County Courthouse, was finished in 2010 at a cost of about $1.7 million.


Phase 3 will see improvements on Ohio Avenue from Fifth Street south on the intersection at Broadway Boulevard and the construction of a downtown gateway arch. Funding, estimated to cost about $830,000, recently was secured through grants from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the downtown TIF fund.


“Between grants and the TIF, we’re only asking the city to provide $53,000 for the project,” Simmons said. “(City staff) has been working hard to secure those grants to get the numbers down for the city’s contribution.”


The money will come from Fund 15, the city’s capital improvements fund, and will not have an impact on the city’s general revenue fund, said city administrator Gary Edwards. During the meeting Monday, all council members were on board with the idea, saying they’d like to see the project finished.


“Doing this work in phases was important for the business owners. We didn’t want to shut down the downtown area completely for the years it was going to take to finish this,” Simmons said. “But it’s nice that we’re finally in the final stretch of the project.”


Simmons said he’d like to see a start date in June with a goal of having the work complete by the start of the Missouri State Fair, Aug. 8. Design work for the 15-foot tall gateway arch is already finished and the city will send out requests for qualifications for the additional construction work after the Fiscal Year 2014 budget is approved in late March.


“The streetscape project has really had a great impact on our downtown area,” Simmons said. “Since the start we’ve had $25 million in reinvestment through private and public funds come to the area. We still have the second part of Phase 3, which will completely finish the project, to go, but this will be a great start.”


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