Greening the Capital City

Jefferson City is one step closer to becoming a little bit greener.

Two months after city officials announced that Jefferson City was one of five state capitals to be awarded a Greening America’s Capitals project, Assistant City Administrator Melva Fast informed the council her department is preparing to take the next step with the process.

The cooperative project is a partnership with city and state government to develop shared public space to foster sustainable design. The effort is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation.

Fast informed the council the project for Jefferson City will look at the Wears Creek and Millbottom area, which could link into other projects like Adrian’s Island, the proposed conference center, the Missouri River pedestrian and bicycle bridge path and the Missouri State Penitentiary redevelopment.

Officials are preparing to kick off the first phase of the project, which will involve a visit from representatives from the different federal agencies in January.

“What they are going to do is develop base maps of the area, actually look at what the existing conditions are and review any existing plans that we have on the shelf — begin to

gather data,” Fast said at Monday night’s meeting.

“That will basically be a reconnaissance mission. They will just take a look and visit with us.”

From the one day that the representatives and consultants will spend in the area, Fast said they will select anywhere between six and eight design themes.

As soon as March, the agencies and consultants will host meetings with numerous groups with vested interests in the area, as well as public hearings that will help both the city and the collection of representatives come up with a group consensus on the design plans for the area.

“We will certainly have a lot of notice and we will have a lot of public participation, so that is something to look forward to at that time,” Fast said.

All of this will result in what Fast described as a “visually focused final report” that will include potential future funding opportunities and case studies that will describe how similar communities implemented projects like the one proposed and what made them successful.

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