Council plans more public meetings on conference center

More public meetings about a possible conference center for Jefferson City are coming.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Interim City Administrator Drew Hilpert said a meeting is planned for 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening where representatives of Farmer Development LLC will present their plan for a conference center near Capital Mall. Erhardt Hospitality has also been invited to present their plan for a center on West McCarty Street near the Truman State Office Building.

Next Tuesday at noon, the public will be able to come to the council chambers and express their thoughts on the proposals, and later that evening the council is scheduled to have a closed session with its facilitator, Johnson Consulting of Chicago, to hear what consultants think of the proposals. Hilpert said part of that meeting could be opened to the public.

Another conference center meeting is scheduled for next Thursday. Hilpert said it looks like the council could vote on which proposal they want at their next meeting on Nov. 18.

Hilpert added the proposal plans will be put on the city’s website, jeffcitymo.org, after the public presentations.

Actions taken at Monday’s meeting included:

• Approving a development agreement with ALPLA Inc., which operates in the industrial park near the Algoa Correctional Center. The agreement calls for the city to pay $100,000 in exchange for easements and to provide a resolution to potential litigation. The city is getting needed sewer and rail easements promised to accommodate the incoming Morris Converting company. Half of the funds could come from capital improvements sales tax, to cover the easement costs, with the other half coming from the city’s fund balance to cover litigation costs.

• Approving renewing a police department lease with Ozark Harley-Davidson Inc. for two motorcycles at $3,450 for each motorcycle.

• Approving two resolutions regarding federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The city is anticipating about $233,000 and the resolutions discuss how the money would be used for such things as housing rehabilitation, sidewalk improvements and public transportation.

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