The Maryville City Council reviewed the $12+ million BUILD Grant project to improve traffic and aesthetics for much of the south side of the town at the July 27 meeting.

The 2018 awarded federal grant, one of only 90 statewide that year, was on the business portion of the agenda as the council needed to execute an agreement with the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration allowing for the $10,488,088 to flow to the city. Council approved. The city will have a $2,094,210 match with nearly $1 million contracted to SK Design Group for preliminary engineering, final design and construction administration.

Maryville’s commitment has been financed through the Certificates of Participation in 2019 and 2020, which will be repaid from the Capital Improvement Funds.

The estimated schedule of the 1.5 miles from South Avenue to Highway 71 improvement includes construction to start in March 2021 with completion in May 2023. The design involves not only street construction that will heighten safety but also storm drainage instead of ditches, pedestrian enhancements and utility coordination of underground electric services. All were subject matter within the Maryville Comprehensive Plan.

Presently city staff are meeting with property owners along the corridor, acquiring necessary easements and describing the new limited access from businesses to the street as well as additional traffic lights, designated turn lanes and enhanced streetscape elements. City Manager Greg McDanel reported property and business owners have been cooperative and pleased with the planned improvements. The challenges he and Ryan Heiland, assistant city manager, have encountered involved the combination of the franchise owners with their corporate teams and the inability to reach them during the pandemic.

More detailed drawings of the project will be available this fall.

McDanel gave a report on the COVID-19 “dramatic increase” in the city and noted he is considering the closure of city hall during August much like April. City staff will be available by phone or if necessary by appointment. The council agreed by consensus to allow McDanel to make that decision. Discussion about the possibility of forgoing delinquent water-sewer bills and not shutting off service to residents unable to pay during this time. Once again the council turned the decision back to McDanel.

Other business the council addressed:

• Authorized the memorandum of understanding with Polk Township Fire Protection District for an automatic mutual aid agreement.

• Approved a settlement agreement with Missouri Department of Natural Resources about the clearing out a portion of Peach Creek in 2015 without a required action from US Corp of Engineers. Over the last year, the city staff has worked with legal counsel to appease the US group. Now DNR needs compensation in the way of stream mitigation credits costing $10,000. McDanel noted some procedures are being changed to be sure this will not happen again.

McDanel reported the Public Safety Facility’s construction crew is working through punch list of items before the building will be open. He also reminded the council of Maryville Public Safety Director Keith Wood retirement reception from 4 to 6 pm, Monday, August 3 at the Mozingo Event Center.

Councilman Jason McDowell asked about the timing of the East Third Street asphalt overlay and McDanel said the second week of August.