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by Patty Cheffey
Veterans Road will become safer with the installation of lights, thanks to a Transportation Alternative Program grant recently awarded to Marion County.
County commissioners confirmed the grant during Monday’s meeting, at which they also signed a contract for the Wenneker bridge project and heard from Rural Development
Michael Teel, project engineer from Great River Engineering, also confirmed the TAP grant in the amount of $476,936.80, which is 80 percent of the Veterans Road lighting project. The county is responsible for the remaining 20 percent.
He indicated he will begin working on a contract and once that is approved by MoDOT and signed by the county, he can move forward on bids for the project.
Current plans are to light Veterans Road from West Ely Road to Paris Gravel Road, encompassing the Route MM intersection.
While the grant and the 20 percent from the county will cover the estimates, adjustments could be possible once actual costs are known.
Teel was also present to deliver a contract, which was signed by the commissioners, on the Wenneker bridge project.
Fixed fees in that contract are $40,924.45 and total fees are $92,529.52 for Great River Engineering. Those fees are based on state estimates, Teel said.
In addition to the contract, a letter to MoDOT was signed by the commissioners in order to move forward on the bridge.
Teel noted the permitting process can take at least four months, and once that is completed the county will be able to go out to bid.
Sam Diffenderfer and Janine Stephenson with Rural Development were present to provide outreach on the programs offered.
In addition to information for municipals and non-profits, which can access both loans and grants for various projects, they also provided information on housing and the availability of loans to purchase homes.
Stephenson said there is also a grant program available to those 62 years or older who are eligible for assistance for repairs or needs, such as handicapped accessibility.
Diffenderfer noted grants and loans are available for equipment and storm warning systems, among other things, and while the county still has to apply, Rural Development will assist with that process.
In her report, Teya Stice, improvement coordinator, said she is to do a facilities loss-prevention walk-through with Traveler’s Insurance later this month.
However, commissioners, Larry Welch said Steve Begley, said they are not happy with that company and would like to consider seeking other companies.
Commissioners also approved a request to the Community Development Block Grant program to pay for Bleigh’s third invoice for the Douglass Community Services building project.
They also approved the holiday dates for the courthouses to be closed in 2024.