ooperation between governmental entities can often lead to progress. That’s the hope in regard to a road improvement project proposed at Dearborn.
Masonic Drive, an east-west thoroughfare that can be found just south of the cemetery at Dearborn, is scheduled for some repair by the Platte County Public Works Department very soon and the county wants to know if the City of Dearborn wants to partner to make the project more complete. The unique situation is that the county is responsible for a portion of Masonic that is sandwiched between some city portion of the roadway.
That being the case, Platte County Public Works Director Greg Sager has proposed a cooperative project with the City of Dearborn to make needed improvements to Masonic.
“We’re (the county public works department) not trying to compete with private contractors, but that’s a unique situation. It would be silly for the county to go in and do a 479 ft. patch between two pieces of city responsibility,” Sager told The Landmark this week.
“Everything not in the Dearborn city limits is county responsibility,” Sager explained. “It’s in both our best interests to do it in one project.”
City of Dearborn officials agree, but want a firm grip on the city’s portion of the cost from the county before giving their okay. Sager had indicated to Mayor Frank Downing in a conversation the cost would be around $5,000, but followed it up with a letter that listed the cost as between $5,000 to $10,000. The county would charge the city only for materials, not labor.
Dearborn board members indicated the low end of that estimate would be fine, but questioned the value of the project if it went above that amount.
“I’d say $10,000 is too much for chip and seal,” Alderman Louis Buntin said. “It’s not going to last like asphalt.”
The county is proposing doing asphalt repair and chip and seal on the stretch of roadway in question, Sager said this week.
Finances are of obvious concern to a financially-strapped city like Dearborn.
“We have enough to pay for the $5,000 if we have to, but not enough to do $10,000,” Downing said at a board of aldermen meeting Monday night.
Sager said the county could front the money for Dearborn’s portion of the project, and delay requiring payment from the city until after the first of the year. It’s an option the city may find attractive.
After Monday night’s meeting, Downing drafted a letter to Sager expressing his aldermen’s concern over narrowing down the estimated cost of the project. Sager then nailed the figure at $6,500, information that Downing will now carry back to his aldermen, presumably for more discussion.
In other action at a relatively calm and argument-free aldermen meeting Monday night:
•Heard a request for speed bump to be placed on Commercial Street near the area where the pavement ends and the gravel begins. The street leads back toward the city park. Aldermen spoke in favor of a speed bump idea and indicated they would pursue it. A request was also made that the speed limit for the street be made 15 miles per hour but no official action was taken.
•Heard from Alderman Bill Edwards that two building permits had been issued, one for a resident enlarging a deck and another for a 24′ x 24′ metal building to go up on Tex Wampler’s property on Commercial Street.
•Heard resident Betty Stancil praise those who have worked on the new park. “It really looks nice,” she said. Alderman Gary Bomar said the playground area at the park is “technically finished.” In response to a question posed by resident Wilma Reed, it was stated there is enough money remaining for walking trails.
•Bomar brought to the board’s attention two recent changes in Missouri law that could be of interest to Dearborn. One deals with a city Dearborn’s size now being allowed to adopt the county zoning regulations. “We would have uniformity,” Bomar said, indicating it would be less costly and less time-consuming than updating the city’s codes. Buntin cautioned that the city’s best interests might not always be served by the county’s regulations.
Another item of interest is new legislation that will allow cities of less than 1,000 population the option to elect board of aldermen candidates on an at-large basis, rather than by ward.
This would allow small cities more flexibility in finding candidates willing to serve.