JC Council to approve annexation agreement with Holts Summit

The Jefferson City Council is expected to approve an annexation agreement with Holts Summit on Monday, establishing a border that each municipality will agree not to cross in annexation attempts.

The annexation agreement actually is part of an overall agreement for the city to provide sewer services in Holts Summit, which also is expected to be approved Monday. The agreement establishes a border outside the limits of both cities that neither will cross. Interim City Administrator Drew Hilpert said essentially the city will agree not to annex any farther north of that boundary line and Holts Summit will not annex any farther south.

Hilpert said a similar deal is in place with Wardsville.

In other business, Hilpert said representatives of the Ehrhardt Hospitality Group may attend Monday’s meeting to answer council questions on their conference center proposal, though he noted he is not 100 percent sure they will attend.

Earlier this week, the council voted unanimously to direct Hilpert to get specific numbers from the Ehrhardts by Tuesday. The needed information includes the total cost of the project, how much the developer will invest in the project, the funding gap for the project and what incentives the developer is requesting to fill that gap.

The funding gap is the difference between the total price tag on a proposal and the city’s $9 million contribution.

In mid-November, the City Council voted 6-4 to move conference center proposals from both Jefferson City-based Farmer Holding Co. and Hannibal-based Ehrhardt Hospitality Group forward into the contract negotiation phase. There is no timeline for completing the next phase, with Hilpert saying it could take from two months to two years before contracts are ready to be presented.

Farmer Holding Co. has proposed a $36 million hotel and conference center at the Capital Mall, while Ehrhardt Hospitality has proposed a $24.6 million hotel and conference center at the West McCarty Street site, which is owned by the state.

Also to be discussed Monday is the reorganization of the Planning and Protective Services Department. Department director Janice McMillan said many of the department’s functions have been lumped together under inspections, and the reorganization would separate divisions or “flatten” the department.

The council also is expected to go into closed session Monday for real estate, personnel and contract negotiations. Last month, Hilpert said he had hoped to bring the council a public works director candidate from existing staff by Monday.

The public works director position has been vacant since April when former director Roger Schwartze resigned. City Engineer Matt Morasch has been performing the job in the interim.

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