Friends & Neighbors,
There is a lot of news to report.
Inverness, the 266-home residential development next to Bainbridge subdivision.
Grading has begun to prepare the ground for construction of streets, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and other utilities. Construction of display homes is expected in a few months. Sales office will be ready for Spring 2020.
Cordoba, 52-home residential development at the Bryan Rd exit off Rt 364
Dragonstone, a five home residential development on Bates Rd.
Midwest Wellness Center on Stump Rd.
Paco’s Tacos and Rosie’s Cakes
Construction/Repair of Streets, etc.
Barathaven Lake Spillway and Trail
Recurring flooding of Dardenne Creek and drainage of rainwater from the Henning Rd Overpass onto the Trail create conditions that keep the trail wet, muddy and occasionally slick. The City’s 2019 budget includes funds to design and construct drainage systems to alleviate these conditions. Bids have been solicited and we expect to award a contract on October 2 for work to be done this fall.
Annual Street Maintenance and ADA Ramp upgrade
St. Charles County Contract for Street Maintenance
Hanley Road Improvement
Route 364 Interchange at Town Square
We have some preliminary design concepts from the Engineering Firm hired by the City. There will be public meetings, most likely in October, to share these designs with interested parties and the general public. Notice will be published.
BALL PARK RENOVATION PROJECT
The 4.5 acre ball fields next to City Hall were first constructed in 1953 by the Dardenne Athletic Association largely using donations and volunteer labor. For the next 63 years the DAA ran youth baseball and softball. In 2008, the City entered a 99 year lease with the DAA to let the City use the fields when the DAA was not using them. By 2015 the DAA found that donations and volunteer labor were not adequate to maintain the fields and run the youth ball programs.
At the DAA’s request the City took over the management of youth baseball and softball as of the 2016 spring season and has carried on ever since. Also in 2015, the DAA and the City agreed to negotiate the conveyance of title to the ball fields and facilities to the City. The parties have not completed negotiations.
The City has tried to design renovations to the fields and facilities using in-house staff. We came to the conclusion in 2018 that we needed to hire an outside design team to do a complete job. In 2019 the City awarded a design contract and a construction management contract to two qualified firms. We have been working with them for several months to develop a design for long-term renovation of the fields.
It became apparent that we could not get to a satisfactory outcome by cutting corners or using only the existing 4.5 acres. This spring, the Board of Aldermen voted to acquire the adjoining 2 acres so we could expand the project to a 6.5-acre space. That purchase was completed in July.
The preliminary design has evolved over the course of the past several months and the current cost estimate has evolved as well. I presented the preliminary design and cost opinion to the Board of Aldermen on September 4. I told the Board that the presentation was intended to promote a thoughtful discussion of the project and to allow the public to weigh in. We will be engaging in discussions at City Hall and with the public over the next 3 months.
The Cost of construction is estimated to be about $2.5 million. To that amount we have added a contingency of about 20%, bringing the estimate to $3.1 million. The cost of the Design Contractor and the Construction Management Contractor add about $200 thousand. If we finance the work we can also reimburse the Parks fund for the purchase price of the adjoining 2 acres. The total that we could finance would be about $3.7 million. Pay back over 10 or 15 years would be covered by the Parks and Stormwater sales tax with revenue to spare for other parks and recreation uses. Construction would begin in August 2020 and be completed in time for the 2021 spring ball season.
No doubt about it, this is a lot of money. We will discuss the merits of the project with the public and those who are keenly interested in seeing the facilities improved. We are also looking to add 4 to 8 pickleball courts to serve the broader community. More than 20 people attended last week’s BOA meeting in support of the ballfield and pickleball project.
I will provide you frequent updates on this process.
OTHER NEWS FROM CITY HALL
The City must consider enacting changes to the Zoning Code to permit marijuana dispensing, testing, storage, and growing facilities because of the Constitutional Amendment enacted by the voters last year. Public hearings at Planning & Zoning and the Board of Aldermen will be held on September 11 and 18, respectively. If you want to speak on this topic please come to City Hall on those dates. The public hearings will begin at 7:00 PM.
Last, but not least, the annual Prairie Day celebration is scheduled for Saturday, September 21. As in the past 2 years we will close Hanley Road in front of City Hall for vendor tents and displays. There will be games for children, plenty of food trucks and other activities. Two bands are booked for the evening and there will be a fireworks show after dark.
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO