Jefferson City is looking at changing the scope of the Frog Hollow Road project, hoping to address concerns from residents and traffic flow issues at the same time.
At the Public Works and Planning Committee meeting Thursday, committee members approved a change in scope to the Frog Hollow Road project, essentially switching the project from focusing on Frog Hollow Road to focusing on Creek Trail Drive.
The change was spurred by concerns from residents about the project who, at an August meeting of the committee, urged the city to reconsider the project completely.
Third Ward Councilman and Committee Chairman Bob Scrivner said council members spoke with residents after that meeting and met with city staff to discuss changes to the project's scope.
Interim Public Works Director Matt Morasch said phase one would be to connect Missouri 179 to Creek Trail Drive and have a traffic engineer study West Edgewood Drive to come up with a traffic plan.
David Bange, engineering supervisor, said the original Frog Hollow Road project, when it was conceived, did not take into account the new St. Mary's Health Center, the
property owned by the Jefferson City School District and the incoming Sam's Club. The altered project would affect only a portion of Frog Hollow Road, which would become a dead end street to allow Creek Trail to connect to Missouri 179.
Bange said the expenses would remain relatively the same, though the alternate plan may prove to be slightly less expensive.
The estimated cost of the original project, which sought to widen Frog Hollow Road and add access from Creek Trail Drive and Frog Hollow to Mission Drive, was nearly $3.5 million. The project is a cooperative venture between Jefferson City and Cole County governments, and Scrivner said the county supports the changes.
"They were totally supportive," Scrivner said. "For me, this is a huge improvement."
Several residents in attendance Thursday said they agree with the changes in scope and see it as a much improved plan.
In other business, the committee approved a motion to notify St. Martins of the city's intent not to renew an existing sewer agreement, set to expire in May 2015. The agreement was signed in 1989 and gave a portion of the St. Martins sewer system to Jefferson City, requiring the city to maintain the system and give St. Martins residents the same sewer rate as Jefferson City residents.
"I don't think we got anything out of it," said Drew Hilpert, interim city administrator and city attorney.
In early 2012, the city came close to an agreement that would have stipulated the city sewer rate apply only to portions of St. Martins as it existed in 1989, having all areas annexed after that year pay two times the city sewer rate. It also laid out a boundary line for limits of annexation between the two cities.
Hilpert said the city will notify St. Martins of their intent not to renew the agreement, though the city would be willing to negotiate a new one, where the city receives some benefit. Hilpert noted that without an agreement in place, St. Martins residents "would have the highest rates in the county."