Lift Station B is one of two lift stations on Ivy Road slated to be replaced as part of a major sewer system upgrade in Oronogo.

Oronogo sewer system improvement project nearly ready to begin

As City Attorney Derek Snyder put it, the Oronogo Board of Aldermen’s passage of a ordinances Monday authorizing the issuance of $2 million in bonds for the long-awaited sewer system improvement project was “the culmination” of their work for the past several years.

Close to six years, actually, involving six mayors, numerous aldermen, two engineering firms and two plans.

Bob Pearish was mayor when the need to act became apparent. None of the current aldermen were in office on Nov. 8, 2016, when voters agreed – 592-349 – that the system needed to be improved.

The board reluctantly went back to the engineering board two years ago after receiving only one contractor’s bid. That bid, in the amount of $3,287,270 was 78% higher than the engineer’s estimate of $1,845,000. It was believed more contractors didn’t bid because the plan called for extraordinary deep digging.

Just in case, they needed to accept that bid, the board arranged the extra financing by authorizing a $1.5 million lease purchase agreement.

Instead of accepting that bid, they hired a second firm, Allgeier Martin and Associates, to engineer an different option. As a result, G&G Construction’s bid of $2,737,000 was the lowest of three received on May 4. Engineer Eric DeGruson determined the bid was within limits of his estimate of $2,300,000.

The city held a preconstruction meeting with G&G Construction Tuesday.

The $2 million in Series E bonds are being issued through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will be redeemed at a rate of 3.5%. Installment payments in the amount $100,000 are to be made annually.

New grant application to expand storm water detention

As that big project gets underway, the board has more projects on deck.

DeGruson gave cost estimates for several projects he could submit to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which is offering grants on a competitive basis.

Tony Cantrell, public works superintendent, said his priority would be to replace the lift station at Jason Place with a gravity-flow line, which would save money by not having to pay for electricity and maintenance. It would also allow more home construction in that area north of Highway 96.

However, Kima Francis (3rd Ward) said the city may not need to replace the Jason Place lift station, while it will certainly need more storm water retention.

Cantrell said the first of two ponds the city has built so far to prevent flooding from housing along County Road 215 is not adequate.

Mayor Charles Wilkins agreed, adding that Jasper County’s ongoing work on County Road 215 will increase the flow of storm water.

DeGruson estimated the cost of increased detention capacity will cost $2 million. The city’s match would be $400,000.

The board directed him to apply for that grant prior to the July 14 deadline.

Funding for that $400,000 match could come from the $1.5 million lease purchase agreement or the balance in the American Rescue Plan Act fund. It currently stands at $183,673, and an additional $269,082 is expected to be received.

Woman purchases mobile home deemed uninhabitable

Bonnie Bishop told the board she was unaware the double-wide she bought at 285 Baker St. couldn’t be reoccupied. 

Section 415.210 of the city code specifies that a mobile home can’t be reoccupied under certain conditions, including when it has been vacant for six months. Since 2002, the city only allows mobile homes coming into the city to be placed in mobile home parks.

Mobile homes on city lots are to be removed from the city rather than sold.

City Clerk Cyndi Jennings said City Hall staff mistakenly accepted a utilities deposit from Bishop. When she found out, Jennings said the deposit was returned. Water was later shut off to Bishop.

“I’m sorry you were sold (the mobile home) under the pretense they could sell it,” Francis told Bishop.

Wilkins clarified that Bishop owns the property, but the “ordinance says you cannot inhabit the mobile home.”

He suggested that Bishop apply for a variance from the Board of Adjustments.

In other action, the board:

• Voted to approve a variance for a fence Floyd Miller, of Miller Fence, has built without a permit at 727 Bryton Court. He provided an explanation. The variance is pending him paying for a permit and the fence passing inspection.

• Recognized Jennings for advancing to continuing status with the Missouri City Clerks and Financial Officers Association.

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