On Tuesday, June 27, there was a second public hearing concerning the Phelps County Road 2000 extension. This project is being financed primarily with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), totaling $437,300, through the Mo. Department of Economic Development and is administered by the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC).

On Tuesday, June 27, there was a second public hearing concerning the Phelps County Road 2000 extension. This project is being financed primarily with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), totaling $437,300, through the Mo. Department of Economic Development and is administered by the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC).

Gary O’Day, grant administrator with the MRPC, said this public hearing was in accordance with a requirement of the CDBG that states a second public hearing is held when the project is at least 80 percent complete. Any public concerns would then have to be addressed by the commission.
There was no public opposition at this hearing.
O’Day said, “There are no problems—in fact, it has been a rather smooth process working with the county and city engineer.

The purpose of this project was to extend CR 2000 to meet the current I-44 outer road (CR 2020). This alleviates truck and other traffic currently using CR 2020, which runs through a residential area and required the navigation of a sharp curve by drivers—a potentially dangerous situation. MRPC noted in their grant application that this would restore a stretch of historic Route 66 and increase the chance for development in the area.
Construction design also increased the road bed to handle a greater traffic volume and larger vehicles on the road.

Since the county and the City of Rolla benefit from the road extension, they also helped pay for the project with the CDBG, providing at least $168,500 in in-kind work and cash payments. The project was engineered by the City of Rolla, with construction completed by the Phelps County Department of Roads and Bridges, Bloomsdale Excavation Co. of Bloomsdale, Mo. and All-Type Fence from Steelville.

In other business, Public Works Engineer Darin Pryor came to Tuesday’s open county commission meeting to get the county to approve a new sewer use agreement and new bylaws for the College Hills West Sewer District, east of the Rolla city limits.
“There are roughly 30 homes within this sewer district [that will benefit],” said Pryor.

The City of Rolla (through Rolla Municipal Utilities) is already serving the sewage needs of the subdivision, so this agreement just states the new work and city, county and sewer district responsibilities once the work is completed.  According to Pryor, the city will construct new sewer mains and maintain the system. Commissioner Gary Hicks wanted to know who’s responsibility it would be to repair roads damaged by the process of installing the mains and Pryor said the county will resurface any damaged roads by chip-and-sealing the surfaces when the work is completed. The College Hills West Sewer District will be paying for the upgrades, the Phelps County Roads and Bridges Department will be doing road repairs and will be reimbursed by the sewage district.

Concerning the bylaws, Pryor said bylaw changes were needed to bring the College Hills West Sewer District within accordance of state statutes. One change that needed to be added for compliance with current state statutes, is “all board members must be paid $25 a month for serving on the board.”

“They also need to change the boundary of the district,” said Pryor. “There are a hand-full of houses in the district that aren’t being served by the district, so those will be taken out of the district.”

He also said there are houses being served by the district that aren’t included within the current district boundary. Once this project is completed, the City of Rolla will be handling the monthly billing process.
Nothing will change concerning the duties of the sewer district board.

“If someone is not paying their bill, the city can’t file a tax lien—only the district can do that,” said Pryor. “The city can’t file liens outside the City of Rolla.”
Pryor added further clarification for the commissioners to the water/sewer cost outside the Rolla city limits. Rolla Municipal Utilities sells treated water to the District. The District adds a charge to this price and sells it to their customers.

“If you’re in a District, you’re paying a higher rate than someone living in the City of Rolla,” he said. 

The bottom line: the City of Rolla will install new sewer mains and hook up the lateral lines to each home within the new district boundary, not to exceed $3,000 per household. If a homeowner doesn’t have $3,000, the city will let the homeowner pay over 10 years.
“I’m confident we’ll be well under $3,000 per household,” said Pryor.