Final reading and passage is expected Jan. 17 for a city ordinance that will authorize the hiring of HNTB Corp. engineers to prepare the way for the Highway 72 extension.
"This task is for the final design, bid documents and construction support services for the planned extension," City Administrator John Butz told the council in the written agenda commentary for the Jan. 3 meeting.
No action was taken for the first reading. There was discussion about what is called Amendment No. 3 to the Westside Transportation Master Plan Agreement with HNTB. Cost of this pat of the work is $627,859.
"This agreement covers all professional services to construct this project except daily construction observation and management," Butz wrote. "We are evaluating different alternatives for these services may include an additional task order with HNTB."
The agreement revises the contract amount for the Westside Transportation Master Plan Agreement to $1,00,487.60.
The scope of services is extensive and includes the design, planning and right of way for the extension of Highway 72/Ridgeview Road from U.S. 63 to Kingshighway near the double traffic circles. This will included the planning and construction of a bridge over the BSNF railroad.
In discussion, Ward 5 Councilman Jim Williams expressed his displeasure.
"I can't support this," he said.
He offered considerable criticism of the Rolla Daily News and its reporting of the discussion and planning for the Highway 72 extension, as well as other transportation work that will be covered by the tax that will be put into place by the Transportation Development District.
Williams said the newspaper had reported that a business leader described the current traffic in Rolla in terms that made it seem like the streets are a racetrack, jammed with traffic like a large city's streets. Williams said traffic is heavy briefly only a couple of times a day; the rest of the time traffic flow in Rolla is not difficult to navigate.
Mayor Lou Magdits IV said the business leader did not say the streets are like a racetrack with many accidents. The mayor said the paper had reported his own comments but overstated them.
"I did not make it seem like a racetrack," the mayor said.
The mayor told Williams he would send a copy of the presentation to Williams.
He also chided this reporter's interview with City Administrator John Butz regarding a look ahead at city projects in 2017. That story was published in the New Year's Eve issue. This reporter stated that the Highway 72 extension "will take traffic from U.S. 63 and Kingshighway, planners hope, especially once the Westside Marketplace shopping center is built."
Williams said there had better be more certainty than hope about relieving traffic pressure created by the presence of the new shopping center, especially with the commitment of nearly $1.1 million to HNTB for the planning and design and right of way work.
In other business or discussion at the Jan. 3 meeting:
* The council passed 11-0 (Ward 1 Councilman Monty Jordan was absent) an ordinance rezoning 508 W. Eighth Street from C-1 (neighborhood business district) to R-3 (multi-family district) zoning. This step down in zoning was requested by MO Gamma Alumni Corp. of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity that wants to turn the office building into a residence for eight fraternity members. A small kitchen would be added to the building.
*The council heard first reading on an ordinance that would implement no-parking zones for both sides of Vienna Road and no-parking along Vichy Road at the north intersections with Vienna Road, Roseglade Road and Meadowbrook Drive. Public Works Director Steve Hargis said accident history shows most of the accidents on Vichy Road occur at those intersections. "Both Meadowbrook Drive and Roseglade Road are on a curve and parked cars close to these intersections would be an increased hazard to oncoming and turning vehicles," Hargis said. "The parking restrictions to Vienna Road were left out of a previous update of the traffic ordinance. The attached ordinance replaces this restriction in the code."
* The council heard both readings and passed an ordinance that deletes sections from the city code that refer to a Highway 63/72 Redevelopment Project. That project was repealed in 2008, but the references were not deleted from the code. "to avoid any confusion, staff is recommending repeal and deletion of Sections 2-245 through 2-250 from city code," Butz said.
* The council approved a resolution to authorize Mayor Madgits to sign the City Counselor Services Agreement with Williams, Robinson, Rigler and Buschjost. The firm's bid, which has been serving as the city counselor since 2011, was accepted Dec. 19 for a three-year extension at the same price.