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County, city to share cost of drainage project

by Patty Cheffey

Marion County and the city of Palmyra will be splitting the cost evenly for repairs and updates to the storm drainage around the Palmyra Courthouse.

The city and county approved a 50-50 split on the costs to install drains, replace curbing and asphalt a section of Lafayette Street during their meeting Monday, at which they also met with representatives of Chariton Valley.

While the actual engineering work has yet to be completed for the project, Mark Bross with Klingner and Associates said he hopes to have everything ready for Thursday’s city council meeting.

Austin Dornberger, city street commissioner, said his crews could do the curb and guttering, but if they wanted to contract with someone to do the laying of the pipe and drains as well as the curb and guttering, that would let the project move along smoother.

Bross noted that as the project is under $75,000, they will not have to pay prevailing wage.

However, adding a second drain on the south side of Lafayette Street at the alley will add to the cost some.

In all, the project will include three drains, the underground papers, new curb and guttering and asphalting where the street will need to be torn up.

Mayor Loren Graham and Dornberger said the asphalting should be able to be worked into other asphalt projects this year.

Graham also noted the city has some funds available for the storm water drainage projects, although they cannot add the project onto their Community Development Block Grant application. 

Western District Commissioner Steve Begley noted the project would probably qualify for the grant through the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, but they would be looking at next year before the project could be done.

In other business, the commissioners met with representatives of Chariton Valley, who updated the commissioners on their ongoing work.

To date, 176 miles of fiber optic cable has been laid in Palmyra and eventually the entire town will be done.

The commissioners asked about access in the rural areas, and while Chariton Valley is in some areas, it is not widespread at this point.

The two commissioners in attendance, Begley and David Lomax, presiding commissioner, also approved removing the mask mandate for both courthouses, noting it will continue to be voluntary. Commissioners Larry Welch was unable to attend Monday’s meeting.