RNA Board meeting minutes – February 2018

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Jim Lohmeyer, Mike Brothers, Peggy Wise, Jeff Barber, John Melton

Other present: SPD Officer Chris Laughlin, Curtis Marshall, Kevin and Nancy Williams from Delaware Neighborhood Association

Treasurer’s Report – Reimbursed John Melton for $185.98 for bulbs and mulch. Deposits from new or renewed memberships equaling $150. Current balance stands at $2,166.14.

PAR Officer Report – Front yard parking issues have been touched on. Still happening but multiple citations have been issued. Also noted 801 S. Weller now has ‘No Trespassing’ signs posted. Gives SPD greater leverage to address vagrants or squatters rather than just asking them to leave. House on Delaware with multiple cars is still an issue. Speeding on Cherry was noted and some additional presence for enforcement was requested there.

Neighborhood cleanup – Rountree is not on the list to have a cleanup at all this year (neither spring nor fall). Neighborhood Advisory Council has recommended that more funding be allocated by the city to pay for cleanups. Phelps Grove is raising money to hold their own. Cost is about $1,700 plus tipping fees for each dumpster. Should we consider doing the same? Can we partner with Phelps Grove and Delaware to hold a combined event? Kevin and Nancy from Delaware said it was worth exploring. Peggy will contact Eric Pauly with the Phelps Grove neighborhood board.

Utilities project update – Going as planned. Some replanting of landscaping will occur in the spring. Project is now about to turn north up Fremont. Homeowners are always welcome to contact Tyler Wayt with City Utilities at 831-8761 or Casey Agne with CU at 633-0261. Landscaping at one residence at Pickwick and Madison was saved to some extent by the contractor, who dug up, bagged and set aside the plants. Will replant after project is complete when spring weather is right. Nancy Evans is our RNA liaison with this project.

801 S. Weller house – Dangerous building. Now past the point of appeal. It will be torn down by the city. City will notify owner of intent to abate. Jeff Barber, who has been following the issue, believes it could be torn down in the next 30 days or so.

SPS master plan discussion – School board is taking another look at its facilities master plan following the failure of the school bond issue last year. Overall, the new direction appears to be more mindful of preserving the neighborhood schools. For example, Delaware Elementary is no longer being consider for closure. There is likely to be some redistricting going forward, and there is discussion of expanding Rountree via renovation, to 300 students. Current enrollment is 234. (Link to Feb. 8 News-Leader coverage.)  Peggy has been attending the Delaware neighborhood meetings and said she was struck by the fact that the Delaware Elementary principal was in attendance and there was great communication between the school and the neighbors. Could we re-engage our school? Laurel said she will reach out to the principal and school staff at Rountree to do so.

Neighborhood Plan steering committee update – Administrative delay expires March 23 after nine months on the books. Consultant is just now gearing up, however. Jeff Bentley expects it will take another six to eight months before the consultant has any results to speak of. The steering committee continues to work diligently. Hopes for new and innovative zoning ideas are not as high as they were at the beginning of the process, but the group is pressing for positive change. Jeff Barber emphasized that traffic concerns must be included as part of the neighborhood plan. Paden noted that it’s a little disconcerting not to have any draft language from the city for a plan yet. Seems the momentum is slowing. Once the delay expires, we will be back to dealing with every project one-by-one rather than having a holistic concept solution, which was the rationale for requesting the delay from City Council. Should we ask Council for an extension? Jim noted that there should be another steering committee meeting soon, with the consultant. No date has been set at this time, however. Laurel will email the steering committee and city staff to address next steps. We would also like to see the results of the recent neighborhood survey conducted by the city.

Other Business

Laurel has spoken with the site foreman at the Boomertown Lofts project about trucks traveling through the neighborhood. Trusses are being delivered at this time. The trucks making these deliveries cannot make some turns out onto National because of the median, so they can only go through the neighborhood. It’s a turning radius issue. RNA has requested the deliveries not happen during the times just before or just after school sessions. The truss deliveries should be finished by Friday, March 2.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

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RNA Board meeting agenda – Feb. 20, 2018

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board meeting agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Feb. 20, 2018

Call to Order

Treasurer’s Report

PAR Officer Report

Neighborhood Cleanup

CU project update

801 S. Weller update

School District master plan & Rountree Elementary

Neighborhood Plan Steering Committee update & discussion of administrative delay deadline

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RNA Board Meeting Minutes – January 2018

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Jim Lohmeyer, John Melton, Jeff Barber, Paden Chambers, Sue Ekstam, Nancy Evans, Jeff Bentley, Nancy Brown, Mike Brothers.

Others present: Madelyn Brown, Travis Liles, Natalie McGuire, Tim Brenner, Officer Chris Laughlin

Treasurer’s Report – Deposited $20 as a donation from the last cleanup day. Gained $160 in recent individual and household memberships. Total deposit was $180. Reminder that dues are now based on the calendar year so 2018 dues are due now.

PAR officer report – We have a new officer, Officer Chris Laughlin. He asked about our Top 5 concerns or things in the area that SPD and he specifically can help out with, from speeding motorists to a specific property, etc. Bring those to the Feb meeting. Property crimes are still an issue for the entire community, unfortunately. He uses the Next Door app, and the SPD is using this a little more.

Board members/officers for 2018 – A slate for the 2018 board membership was proposed, following the discussion from last month.

Proposed slate: Laurel Bryant, chair; Jim Lohmeyer, vice chair; Jeff Barber, former chair; Peggy Wise, treasurer; Mike Brothers, secretary; Nancy Evans, Neighborhood Advisory Council Liaison; John Melton, neighborhood watchman; and members at large Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Nancy Dornan.

Sue passed out ballots. Nominations were opened. There were no additional nominations. Jeff Barber moved to approve the slate, Nancy Dornan seconded. The slate for 2018 was approved.

Southern Missouri Judicial Security Services presentation – Laurel introduced SMOJS. She noted that they are aware that RNA is not an HOA and we don’t have a real budget to speak of. Tim is a former law enforcement officer with experience with the local narcotics task force and K9 units. He started SMOJS after retiring. They now have 115 employees, most of whom are former law enforcement and military. They have a 24-hour dispatch. SMOJS does not have the power to stop or arrest people. They observe and act as a deterrent. They are not the police department or sheriff’s office. One service they provide is observing homes of owners who are on vacation. Individuals could hire them on their own. SMOJS said they would get back to RNA about some potential cost estimates for neighborhood service.

Neighborhood Plan process update – A consultant has finally been hired by the city. It’s H3, a firm based in St. Louis whose staff is primarily architects, several of whom have an affiliation with Washington University. They have a lot of experience with walkable neighborhoods, form-based code and mixed-use developments. Paden said that H3 was among the top picks of the selection committee members and the City. We have done a lot of work without the consultant, but having their expertise will help with issues such as: How much parking is the right amount in commercial node, and how can we change the public infrastructure on Cherry if we want to make it more walkable?

However, the administrative delay only has two months left, so the hope is that the committee and consultant can work quickly to get as much accomplished as possible before the delay expires. We would have the option of asking City Council to consider extending it. Jeff, Paden, and Laurel said they will be asking the City to continue the accelerated pace of steering committee meetings in order to maintain momentum and take advantage of the consultant expertise now on board.

Peggy asked if we are meeting with any homeowners in the areas outside of the UCD about possible expansion of those boundaries? She says people tell her they are in favor. Laurel said she hears the same.

Lastly, there were 231 responses to the recent City survey related to the planning process.

CU project update – Project is ongoing and work continues on Madison and Fremont.

New business – Paden Chambers, who serves on the City’s Landmarks Board, has been working with Nick Harper, who owns the Pickwick Company building, to designate the building as a historic structure in the City of Springfield. Such a move could be the beginnings of a historic district. The nomination was just approved by City Council. The News-Leader is doing a story. This would have an effect on upgrades to the exterior of the building, as those changes would need to be approved by the Landmarks Board in the future.

There will be a come-and-go meeting on Thursday Jan. 25 for the Domino’s expansion.

Neighbors are reporting that the contractor working on the National Avenue apartment building project are now sending trucks through side streets rather than on National. Jeff Barber suggested working with the workers on site directly to ask them to keep off the neighborhood streets. Jeff also suggested we look into making a formal request to get a traffic blocking structure in the area similar to what is in place at Summit and Calhoun near the Drury campus.

Adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

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RNA Board meeting agenda – Jan. 16, 2018

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Jan. 16, 2018

ADDITIONAL NOTE: The Jan. 16 meeting has been postponed one week to Jan. 23 due to weather. 

NOTE: This is a quarterly general meeting with voting items on the agenda. As a reminder, neighbors who are current on dues are able to vote. Annual membership dues are $10 per individual, or $25 per family/household, and $45 per business. Dues are aligned to the calendar year and so it’s time to renew!

Call to Order

Treasurer’s report

PAR officer report

VOTE: Board members/officers for 2018

Proposed slate: Laurel Bryant, chair; Jim Lohmeyer, vice chair; Jeff Barber, former chair; Peggy Wise, treasurer; Mike Brothers, secretary; Nancy Evans, Neighborhood Advisory Council Liaison; John Melton, neighborhood watchman; and members at large Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Nancy Dornan.

Southern Missouri Judicial Security Services

Neighborhood Plan process update

CU project update

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RNA Board Meeting Minutes – December 2017

Board members present: Jim Lohmeyer, Jeff Bentley, Peggy Wise, John Melton, Sue Ekstam, Mike Brothers, Jeff Barber.

Others present: Officer Zach Schlup, Nancy Evans, Paden Chambers, Kevin and Nancy Williams from the Delaware Neighborhood Association board.

Approval of November Minutes – Jeff Bentley motioned to approve, Peggy Wise seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s report – Three new household memberships joined, and we received a $20 donation, for a total increase of $80. Balance now stands at $2022.12.

PAR officer report – Officer Schlup gave an update. Package theft is happening all over the city. Good idea to have it delivered to your office or workplace if possible. Vehicle theft is also happening quite a bit right now. Large trucks such as a Ford F250 seem to be especially easy to get into and steal. This is Officer Schlup’s last meeting. Officer Laughlin will be the new PAR officer after Jan. 1.

Board members/officers for 2018 – Sue Ekstam provided an update from the nominating committee. The proposed slate would be: Laurel Bryant, chair; Jim Lohmeyer, vice chair; Jeff Barber, former chair; Peggy Wise, treasurer; Mike Brothers, secretary; Nancy Evans, Neighborhood Advisory Council Liaison; John Melton, neighborhood watchman; and members at large Jeff Bentley, Paden Chambers, Nancy Dornan.

Voting members will be asked to approve at the general meeting. We will open it up to other nominations from the neighborhood on Facebook. However, we believe that since much of the work of 2017 is carrying over to 2018 it would benefit the neighborhood to have a great deal of continuity on the board.

Neighborhood Plan review update – Jeff Bentley provided an update from the steering committee. There was a public meeting on Dec. 6 for all the property and business owners on Cherry Street. It went very well, with very good dialog among all concerned. There was another steering committee meeting last week. Jeff said the process still appears to be somewhat murky. It’s been a good and productive process and if nothing else we have raised issues in a very public manner, regardless of the eventual outcome in 2018. We need to continue to finish the process and get some revisions to the UCD. The city is still negotiating with their top-choice consultant but no one has been selected yet. The large parcel at Kickapoo and Cherry has been listed for sale for $1.3 million, much more than any recent sale on Cherry Street. Jim and Jeff Barber had a conversation with the owners last summer in order to give them some insight into the RNA’s current thinking about our vision for future development in the neighborhood. They showed the property owner several examples of quality, successful, low-density neighborhood projects from elsewhere in the country.

CU pipeline upgrade project update – Phase 1 will begin Jan. 8. There will be minimal service outages. Neighbors should be prepared for tree removals all along the south side of Madison between Delaware and Fremont. Fewer trees on Fremont will need to be taken out. Neighborwoods (City program) is working more closely with CU to replace trees, however, there aren’t many options on Madison because of the size of the street and new sidewalk. Nancy is in contact with neighbors in the area.

New Business

City Survey – It’s now live. Postcards are being mailed out at this time. The comments will be used to write the final version of the neighborhood plan, which will in turn inform revisions to the UCD. Those who want paper versions can get one. January 15 is the deadline. City will share the results when it’s done.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – November 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Jeff Bentley, Sue Ekstam, Mike Brothers, John Melton, Jim Lohmeyer, Nancy Brown, Peggy Wise, Jeff Barber.

Others present: Ruth and Robert and Briggs, Nancy Evans, Chuck and Pat Johnson, Ginger Cook, Robert Keys, Officers Schlup and McIntyre, Brandan Braun and Tyler Wayt from City Utilities.

Approval of October Minutes – Mike Brothers motioned to approve; Sue Ekstam seconded.  The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s report – No expenses but have some deposits. More membership checks expected to come in. Now at $2,064.12.

PAR officer report – 801 S. Weller has had some complaints. It is vacant right now and Officer Schlup said they will at getting the city to board it up more securely. Vacant homes do attract homeless individuals and squatters as well as criminals. There is another house at the corner of Delaware and Cherry with many, many vehicles parked outside. City has notified them and they have about a week to get the issue remedied. Package thefts are an issue at this time of year. Laurel noted that she has been contacted by a security company about hiring for patrols. We have had this conversation before but it’s expensive, and there are liability issues if an altercation might occur. Would more lighting help? Jeff Barber explained that it might be hard to put in some due to mature trees, and the fact that some property owners simply like the darkness.

Steve Proffit of The Potter’s House – Steve was not present. Laurel said he had contacted her about holding an event in the future.

CU pipeline upgrade project questions/updates – Tyler said they could break ground as early as next week to facilitate work by the contractor. CU will be doing this work and then the contractor would take it from there. Would be at Madison and Kentwood, and this would be close for about two weeks. Another location is on north Delaware just south of Cherry under the railroad tracks in a green space, not in the roadway. This work will take about two weeks; the contractor will take over in late December. Conklin Excavating has the project. CU reps say they have a good reputation for being both diligent and quick, and responsive to CU inspectors as well. CU will try to replace things as they were, and try to respect the property. It was noted that gas lines are fairly shallow (current standards are 18 inches below the surface) and so there will be some small equipment and even a fair amount of hand digging with shovels done when replacing these lines. We will be getting more fire hydrants. Current standards are every 500 feet. Nancy has done a walk-through with the CU reps and will be trying to contact neighbors individually as well. Total trees lost will be about 15; but they will be saving a few dozen by going under sidewalks and taking the route they did on Madison. Other routes would take out even more trees.

Cherry Street update – A different ownership group is now under contract for the Spanish Mission structure and five adjacent homes. The new owners are the family that owns Hogan Land Title Company. (The previous potential buyer was Say U Can, which had proposed the Pickwick District development.) They would like to meet with RNA. Jeff Bentley wants to make sure we are focusing on the steering committee and plan review update process and not appearing to be striking deals or agreements with individual developers. Jeff Barber and Laurel believe it’s good to simply have open lines of communication. The intent would be to meet and let the new owners know where the neighborhood plan review update process stands right now and direct them to the end of the delay in March 2018.

Neighborhood Plan review update – The City is still negotiating with a consultant to help with this, but Jeff Bentley said he thinks one will probably not be able to be hired. Therefore it will probably continue to be handled entirely by city staff and the steering committee. In the meantime, we are pushing ahead quickly with the same timeline in hopes of finishing the work before the delay expires on March 23.

There will be a city-led meeting at 7 p.m., Dec. 6 at Rountree Elementary School, for homeowners and business owners along the Cherry Street corridor, including the Cherry and Pickwick node. The meeting will members include members of the steering committee and is open to anyone. The neighborhood plan update is the main deliverable. Zoning changes would draft off of that and would come later. Still, this is a huge opportunity for us as a neighborhood to have a great deal of input on a template for potential new zoning definitions that don’t currently exist in Springfield.

New Business

Board officer nominations – We need to gather a nomination committee to pull together a slate of officer candidates. Sue, Peggy and Mike will do this.

City Council – Laurel thanked three board members for attending City Council to speak in support of the rental registration bill pending.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – October 2017

Board Members present: Laurel Bryant, Mike Brothers, Peggy Wise, John Melton, Jeff Barber, Jeff Bentley, Jim Lomeyer, Sue Ekstam.

Others present: Bruce Earnhart (candidate for Missouri 135th, Tyler Wyat and T.J. Whatley from City Utilities, Dawn Poindexter and Patti Penny from UHBC, Paden Chambers, Nancy Evans, and Megan Morris.

Approval of August minutes – Minutes were approved.

Treasure’s report – Peggy Wise reported 17 individual and/or household memberships were added this past month due in part to the cleanup. We had reimbursements for Light Up the Night flashlights and an expense for pizza for the MSU students who volunteered. We received $71 in straight donations during the cleanup. Peggy motioned that we use that money for seven new memberships for people who might otherwise not be able to afford membership. Laurel seconded. It was noted that this would be a good way to get some people involve who might otherwise not be able to do so. We will seek out these potential new members through word of mouth.

Fall Cleanup – We hauled nearly as much junk as in the spring, which was just five months ago. We would have been sunk without the help of the 15 or so MSU students. We will seek their help again in the future. Partnering with Delaware was a big success.

PAR Officer update – Officer Schlup gave an update. Not much new to report. Neighbors noted a vehicle that is driving aggressively at high speed through the neighborhood, including the school zone. We gave a photo of the vehicle and the plates to Officer Schlup. He will talk to the person who owns the car but there is not much they can do without seeing them actually driving the vehicle. Petty crime continues. There is a rash of bar burglaries going on right now. Sue asked if home video cameras helps. Schulp said it absolutely does help in identifying suspects if you can get a clear shot of them. Jeff Bentley noted that at Greene County sales tax is on the ballot Nov. 7 and it would help fund additional jail space and law enforcement support.

Utilities upgrade – T.J Whatley and Tyler Wayt from City Utilities gave an overview of some major utility upgrades happening across the neighborhood. They are updating water and natural gas lines. T.J. said for an example, they recently took out and replaced a water line near Cherry and Kimbrough that was put in place in 1892. The line along Delaware from Cherry to Grand has had 15 historic leaks in recent years. Natural gas lines are also being replaced. CU requires contractors to notify residents 24 hours in advance of any work that will take homes out of commission. If they are replacing a driveway approach, there is a 48 hour required notice. Most will be out for about a few hours. This is a very large “significant” project. It’s about two miles of pipe overall. Will be done in five phases. In old neighborhoods, there is not a lot of space to put new pipes. Ideally, it’s placed under greenspace. They generally stay out of the roadway due to cost and convenience. Next option is generally the sidewalk. Wherever there is a four-foot wide sidewalk, a five foot sidewalk will be put in; ramps will be made ADA compliant. If greenspace and sidewalk aren’t an option, then sometimes trees will have to be taken out. Sometimes they can be bored under the tree, but this is not ideal because of roots and because the lines are difficult to reach and service if needed. A few trees will be bored under during this project. Larger, older trees are more often bored under but younger trees are not often taken out. These are mostly new lines so that people will not have to be out of service for a long time and because many existing lines are under roadways, which is not ideal. Most of the area where trees will be taken out are where 16 inch lines are going along Madison between Kentwood and Fremont. Most are between Weller and Pickwick on the south side. Why not go down the road? There is a sewer line right down the middle of Madison and MDNR says water lines have to be a minimum of 10 feet from sewer lines. All trees are in the ROW and are city owned not private owned. But they will make an effort to contact nearby homeowners. They will be replacing all gas lines up to the meter. The water lines will be replaced up to the connecting line to the house.

This is about a $2 million project. The project bids on Nov. 2 and they can start 45 days after award. Contractor would likely start in January and have six months to complete this. A similar project was done on Elm between National and Kimbrough, which was torn up all summer long and pretty disruptive. However, if you drive that stretch today, the streetscape is very clean and put back together.

Bruce Earnhart, candidate for Missouri House District 135 – Mr. Earnhart spoke to the group. He complimented RNA on the organization and sense of community present in the board meeting. He spoke about the importance of the upcoming statewide vote to repeal Right To Work legislation. He also supports a higher minimum wage. He was a supporter of the Bernie Sanders campaign last year, which he says was the first time he had ever donated to a political campaign. He is running as an independent and says he would caucus with the Democrats. Contact: earnhartfor135th@gmail.com.

Neighborhood Plan steering committee update – Jeff Bentley gave an update. He said it’s still pretty slow going. The bid for the consultant is out, and five very excellent proposals were submitted. All five “really get it” according to Jeff and have good track records. But all five came in too high. City will attempt to negotiate the price down. There is a chance we may not be able to hire one. Jeff said some issues like buried utilities and changing the streetscape to a much more urban, walkable scale might not be within the scope of this project. Jeff said an adjustment to the zoning code would be the ideal outcome but it’s still not clear that this would truly be an option. Laurel suggested we write a letter of support for the “workable plan” for blight determination and tax abatements.

Cherry Street update – Jeff said Roza has completed razing two buildings on Cherry. They are using the rear alley entirely for truck access.

Halloween update –Rountree Special Events LLC has been granted the permit for the parade, and law enforcement and EMS have been secured. They anticipate having about 1,000 people once again. This event is separate and distinct from RNA activities. UHCB will provide parking for the Rountree Halloween parade. Entrance will be from Grand only, starting at about 4:30. UHBC is collecting cash donations and food donations for parking.

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RNA Board meeting agenda – Dec. 19, 2017

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Dec. 19, 2017

Call to Order

Approval of November Minutes

Treasurer’s report

PAR officer report

Board members/officers for 2018

Neighborhood Plan review update

CU pipeline upgrade project update

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RNA board meeting agenda – Nov. 21, 2017

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Agenda

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., Nov. 21, 2017

Call to Order

Approval of October Minutes

Treasurer’s report

PAR officer report

Steve Proffitt of The Potter’s House

CU pipeline upgrade project questions/updates

Cherry Street update

Neighborhood Plan review update

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Major CU project to replace water, gas lines starts soon

Rountree residents need to prepare for some disruption of utility service and traffic, as well as the loss of some mature trees, as part of a major upgrade to gas and water lines in the area.

City Utilities is preparing to update natural gas and water lines that are up to a century old in some places as part of a major, $2 million project to upgrade a total of about two miles of pipes. CU representatives gave an overview of the project at last month’s RNA meeting. The project will likely start in mid-December and will take about six months to complete by an outside contractor, not CU itself. The prep work (marking, etc.) could start as early as this coming week. It will be done in five phases, and only two phases will be active at any one time. Much of the work will take place along Delaware from Cherry to Grand, and along Madison from Kentwood to Fremont, however, these are not the only areas that will be affected. Here is a breakdown of the phases from CU:

PHASE 1 – Slated to begin mid-December. Work will be done on Madison (on south side) from Kentwood to Fremont; and on Fremont, from Madison to Monroe. Details about trees along the south side of Madison:

  • Delaware, west to alley – No tree removal. Will most likely be cut back, however.
  • Alley to SE corner of Madison and Weller – All trees removed.
  • Weller, west to alley – All trees removed.
  • Alley to Pickwick – All trees removed.
  • Pickwick, west to alley – Landscaping remains. Second tree west of Pickwick remains, all others removed.
  • Alley to Fremont – All trees removed.
  • Also, on the east side of Fremont from Madison north to Monroe – All trees removed.

PHASE 2 – Madison to Cherry on Delaware, with Monroe and Monroe Terrace.

PHASE 3 ­– Madison to Grand, on Delaware.

PHASE 4 – Grand to Catalpa on Delaware as well as Catalpa, Weller to Kentwood.

PHASE 5 – Madison to Grand on Fremont.

CU requires contractors to notify residents 24 hours in advance of any work that will take home utilities out of commission. Most will be out for about a few hours at most. If they are replacing a driveway approach, there is a 48-hour required notice. They will be replacing all gas lines up to the meter. The water lines will be replaced up to the connecting line to the house.

When it comes to replacing pipes in older neighborhoods, there’s not a lot of space to place the new pipes, CU says. Ideally, it’s placed under greenspace. They generally stay out of the roadway due to the added cost and disruption of traffic. The next best option is generally the sidewalk. (Wherever there is a four-foot wide sidewalk torn up, a five-foot sidewalk will be put in; and ramps will be made ADA compliant.) If open greenspace and sidewalk aren’t an option, then at times trees have to be taken out. Sometimes the trees can be bored under the tree, but this is not ideal because of roots and because the lines are difficult to reach and service in the future if needed. A few trees will be bored under during this project. But several mature trees will be taken out are where 16-inch lines are going in along Madison, mostly between Weller and Pickwick on the south side. All trees are in the public right-of-way and are city owned, not privately owned. But CU will make an effort to contact nearby homeowners. Notices about this could start to go out any time.

In addition to cost and traffic flow, CU says there is another reason why lines cannot be laid under the roadway on Madison: there is a sewer line right down the middle of Madison and Missouri Department of Natural Resources requires water lines to be a minimum of 10 feet away from sewer lines.

It’s tough to lose to trees, but there’s an upcoming chance for new plantings coming up next year. At RNA’s September meeting, we heard from Troy Powell, who runs the City’s Neighborwoods Program. This program plants trees in the right-of-way at no cost to homeowners. Each tree must be permitted by the homeowner, however, who then signs a contract committing to water the tree for three years.

Rountree participated in this program in the past and planted about 90 trees in the neighborhood. Now the City wants to engage Rountree once again. Planting would happen starting next fall, from October through April. Neighborwoods will be looking for homeowners who want to participate next year and ideally the contracts would be firmed up by about June 1.

RNA volunteer Nancy Evans offered to be a liaison for Neighborwoods, and to work with CU on communicating their plans to the neighborhood. Nancy will be playing a crucial role, as these two issues have an obvious and critical intersection.

Nancy and the RNA board are committed to helping communicate what, when, and where the work will occur on the CU project in coming months. CU reps T.J Whatley and Tyler Wayt have said they will return to the RNA meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21 to answer questions about the project, and they will be available via phone and email as well. Stay tuned to this site and our Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.

Neighbors can contact Nancy Evans with questions via email at: n.c.evans2014@gmail.com. You can also download a brochure from CU with FAQs about the process here: Gas water 4-panel.

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