The Jefferson City Council soon will consider a non-binding agreement that would allow a group of property owners just outside the city limits to annex more than 200 acres into the city in exchange for nearly $5 million in infrastructure improvements.
The agreement details that several landowners near Missouri 179 would voluntarily annex into the city and provide right-of-way in exchange for the city to provide needed infrastructure for commercial and residential development.
The property owners named in the agreement are: Arthur Brown, Daisy Brown, Charles Brown, Shirley Brown, Donald Webb, Joyce Webb, Larry Rademan, Janet B. Rademan, Ed Rackers and Mary M. Rackers.
At the Public Works and Planning Committee meeting Thursday, Glover Brown, representing the consortium of property owners, said all parties are on board with the memorandum of understanding.
City attorney Drew Hilpert said the advantage to the city is bringing in a large chunk of property available for development, but the infrastructure needs would cost $4 million to $5 million.
Interim Public Works Director Matt Morasch said $5.5 million is the amount spent on all city road projects in the last five years.
The properties are just off Missouri 179 and would require the extension of Mission Drive, which, across Missouri 179, will serve the new St. Mary's Health Center. It also would require an extension of Wildwood Drive, a project that's been talked about for several years, but never high on the city's priority list.
Hilpert said the MOU would be more of a good faith agreement than an actual contract.
"It would morally obligate the council to keep this (project) at the top of their list," Hilpert said.
Glover Brown said at least one meeting has been set up with a potential developer to talk about possibilities with the properties.
"We're trying to bring something to the table," he said.
The agreement also mentions a discussion with the Cole County Commission to make the road extensions a cost-share project, something Brown said the county is interested in.
Though the agreement was moved forward to the full City Council for discussion, 3rd Ward Councilman and Committee Chairman Bob Scrivner expressed reservations and cast the sole opposing vote.
"I've always had an uneasiness about this whole project," Scrivner said. "I think a future council could very easily ignore this agreement."
Part of that uneasiness, he said, is because he can't predict what the city's priorities will be in the next installment of the half-cent capital improvement sales tax, assuming it is approved by city voters.
"There are a lot of things up in the air to be considered," Scrivner said.