Palmyra City Council awards bid for Main Cross, Bradley street storm water project
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by Mark Cheffey
Replacement of the bridges at the intersection of Main Cross and Bradley streets took a big step toward reality last Thursday, when the Palmyra City Council awarded the construction bids for the project.
The council also heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing a new power pole attachment policy, but tabled action on a proposed rezoning request.
By a 5-0 vote, the council selected the lowest of the two bids as submitted by Bleigh Construction Company of Hannibal, which will do the project for $648,526.28.
Surprisingly, the bid came under the engineer’s estimate of $791,123.
“That’s the first time in a long time for something to come in under estimate,” said Mayor Rusty Adrian, referring to a rise in costs over the past few years.
The low bid was recommended by Mark Bross of Klingner & Associates who has engineered the culvert improvement project.
No indication was made during Thursday’s meeting when work would begin on the project.
The council heard a special hearing concerning a request to rezone property at 616 S. Main Street to C-1 Commercial from R-1 Single Family and Two-Family.
While the Palmyra Zoning Commission voted to recommend the rezoning be approved, the council decided to table it due to questions about available parking.
During the hearing, Michele Merkel, speaking for her mother, who lives next door to the property, told the council of past problems with parking at the property.
She said when it was used as a daycare, visitors would often park on Main Street, blocking her mother’s driveway or even in the driveway.
Merkel said that, while she and her mother were not against a business starting there, they were concerned about future uses if the commercial zoning is granted.
When asked about the parking issue, City Attorney James Lemon noted that city zoning law included parking restrictions for industrial and residential zoning, but not commercial.
“Which is a little odd,” Lemon said.
The property is owned by Jason L. Crabill, Stacy M. Crabill, Joshua B. Timbrook and Toni J. Timbrook.
If approved at the next meeting March 16, Palmyra will have a formal policy for power pole attachments and charges that would affect private companies wishing to use the poles.
Lemon said the ordinance is based upon one put together by the Missouri Public Utility Association with some changes made for Palmyra.
The council approved an ordinance Thursday, officially eliminating the city’s ability to opt out of the state’s sales tax holiday to reflect action taken by the state legislature last year.
When asked about its status by the council, Lemon said a proposed ordinance reflecting the passage in November of a state constitutional amendment allowing recreational use of marijuana, was still in the works.
Council member Ellen Goodwin said the Finance Committee she chairs recently met to discuss drafting of the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget, and that more meetings would follow.
City Clerk Deena Parsons did reminded the council for the need to complete the budget before the end of the month.
Council member Brock Fahy gave a progress update on the city’s new website, and department heads were urged to submit their input.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue informed the council his department will be obtaining a mini grant to fund special teen seat belt enforcement from April 1 through April 15.
“Seat belt usage in northeast Missouri is pretty poor and even worse among teens,” Bogue said.
Brent Abell, Board of Public Works superintendent, reported bids have been opened for a a new sewer system lift station in the south part of the city and will be presented to the council at the next meeting.
Austin Dornberger, street commissioner, reported his department was finishing up a storm water drainage project on Buchanan Street.
He also noted a utility rate study of Palmyra had been completed.
Mayor Adrian, who serves on the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, said interviews for a new director were to be held this past Monday.