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story.lead_photo.caption A crosswalk is seen Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, near Pioneer Trail Elementary School. Photo by Shelby Kardell / News Tribune.

The Cole County Commission has approved a school zone improvement project near Pioneer Trail Elementary, and it's being done earlier than originally planned.

At Tuesday's County Commission meeting, Public Works Director Eric Landwehr said the installation of school zone flashers should be done by the end of the year.

"We received a request from a teacher at Pioneer Trail to install flashers in the school zone," Landwehr said. "There are signs in the school zone, but no flashers. And flashers are a more effective means to control speed and safety in school zones. They can be timed to only flash on school days, and during morning and afternoon drop off and dismissal."

The county's traffic and safety advisory board agreed with the flasher installation recommendation in April, and Landwehr said at that time they planned to put them in when funding allowed.

"Because safety improvements on Tanner Bridge Road were moved to next year, there was funding to put in the flashers this fall," Landwehr said. "Wardsville was bidding their project to install safety flashers at various locations in their community, and when that project was to bid last month, they agreed to our request to add a cooperative procurement provision in their bid proposal."

Cooperative procurement means under government contract purchasing arrangements, local governments are able to contract with providers that have already been vetted by a federally-approved procurement sourcing agency.

Proponents of cooperative pricing said it can save the local government money in advertising for bids, as well as speed up the purchase.

Landwehr said Meyer Electric agreed to the cooperative procurement for Pioneer Trail in their submitted bid for the work in Wardsville which allowed the county to piggyback onto that proposal.

The contract awarded to Meyer for the work on Pioneer Trail totaled $17,194 with half of that amount to be paid by the Jefferson City Public School District.

"Piggybacking off of Wardsville allowed us to be able to do this project this year and at the best price possible," Landwehr added.

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