COLUMBIA-In unprecedented fashion, the Columbia City Council and the Boone County Commission will hold a joint public hearing Monday night to allow comment and discussion on proposed improvements to a nearly two-mile stretch of Scott Boulevard.
The proposal is to widen Scott Boulevard from Rollins Road to Brookview Terrace to four lanes, making it “a major arterial roadway including traffic signals with pedestrian crossing at Chapel Hill Road and Rollins Road.” According to a staff memo to the City Council, the project calls for two 11-foot lanes in each direction, along with marked bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaped center medians. A pedestrian underpass just east of Chapel Hill Road would accommodate a future trail.
After being in the works for several years, the project is set to begin in 2009. This is the last chance for Columbia residents to suggest changes to the plan before the council makes a motion to proceed with construction.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the city and county have joined hands to conduct a joint public hearing,” Assistant City Manager Paula Hertwig Hopkins said. “It demonstrates that the county and city are working together on the project and that it is a high priority.”
The project is expected to cost about $11.2 million with funding coming from the city, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Boone County. In March, the city estimated its contribution at about $6.2 million.
Jill Stedem, public information specialist for the city’s Public Works Department, said discussions are still being held with the county and MoDOT to see what their contributions will be. Officials hope to know sometime this fall, Stedem said.
Boone County has set aside contingency funds for such projects and will cover the road improvements in unincorporated areas, said Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller.
Scott Boulevard is under mixed jurisdiction, with different portions maintained by MoDOT, the city and the county. Because of that checkered jurisdiction, government agencies had to combine efforts to plan the widening and move the work forward.
An open house meeting for interested parties was held in March. There have been no major alterations to the project since the meeting, Stedem said. A transcript of citizen comments has been made available to property owners and other stakeholders. It can be viewed online at gocolumbiamo.com/Council/Bills/2007/aug20bills/ItemA.pdf.
Other items the City Council is scheduled to vote on include:
• Setting property taxes for the year 2007 at 41 cents per 100 dollars of assessed value on all taxable property in the city of Columbia, the same rate as last year.
• Setting 2007 taxes on all taxable property in the Special Business District at 48.34 cents per 100 dollars.
• Authorizing an agreement with LaserCraft Inc. to install and facilitate a red-light camera enforcement system at 16 intersections throughout Columbia. The agreement would be for a period of five years, and the system could be operational in 2008. LaserCraft Inc. would receive $28.50 per traffic citation collected.
• Confirming a contract with Emery Sapp and Sons Inc. for about $2.3 million for construction of the Hillsdale Pump Station and 24-inch discharge main under Interstate 70.
The council will also hold a hearing on the proposed construction of the H-13A Trunk Sewer-Southeast Gateway Sewer Extension. The project would provide “additional sewer capacity” for the MU campus bounded by College Avenue, Stadium Boulevard, Monk Drive, Hitt Street and Hospital Drive. The cost of the project, estimated at more than $1.2 million, would be shared by the city and the university. The city is set to contribute about $800,000.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in council chambers on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone City Building. A pre-council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. The agenda for the meeting can be found online.