After much debate, the Jefferson City Council approved a resolution concerning a non-binding agreement to allow a group of property owners just outside the city limits to annex more than 200 acres into Jefferson City.
In August, a bill was introduced to provide a memorandum of understanding for the voluntary annexation in exchange for nearly $5 million in infrastructure improvements. It was moved to the informal calendar after several council members indicated they wanted more time to consider the agreement. The bill is scheduled to die on the informal calendar Oct. 7.
At the council meeting Monday, a resolution was offered to "provide a greater comfort level to all parties," and recommend to the "City Council seated at the time the next sales tax is proposed to the voters that consideration be given to a project agreement for the development of Mission Drive."
That resolution was approved 7-3, with 4th Ward Councilwoman Carrie Carroll, 3rd Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner and 3rd Ward Councilman Ken Hussey opposed.
Scrivner said he believed the project was only selected because council members were lobbied by the property owners to do so, instead of looking at it based on merit. He said the city should consider projects that have development plans, which this does not.
"Don't commit the public's money on speculative projects," Scrivner said. "They (the property owners) do not have a plan and they have no intention of having a plan."
"I do not understand where the urgency is in doing this resolution ... it's maybe great politics, but it's terrible policy."
Second Ward Councilman J. Rick Mihalevich, one of the sponsors of the resolution, said he doesn't see it the same way. The project is on the city's list of projects already, just not very high up.
"I think we're putting too much weight on this agreement," Mihalevich said. "It's just a framework."
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.
The properties are just off Missouri 179 and would require the extension of Mission Drive that spans Missouri 179 and 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.
The agreement stipulates that the county would have to agree to a cost-share for the project to move forward.
In other business, the council also approved a development agreement with the Capital Mall ownership to create a community improvement district in order to help further redevelopment plans for the property.