By: Ernie Wren
This week I’m focusing on what’s going on “around town” with the Ashland Public Works (APW) as we head into late spring and early summer. With the passage of the 1% sales tax last year for Street Department and Police Department, APW is planning on a busy season.

With the support of the voters, APW has essentially doubled the budget for Street Capital Projects, storm water improvements, sanitary sewer flow increases, and enhancements to the parks and recreation. Currently, several projects are under contract, or will be completed very soon. Information for this article was provided by APW Director James Creel and City Administrator Kyle Michel.

FY25 Mill and Overlay Project: N Main St, Brian Ln, Marinas Ave, Jameson Dr, West Oaks Loop, Middleton Dr., Renee Dr and Jon Dr. These have a projected budget of approximately $225,000. They also have plans for the FY25 Chip Seal Project which includes N Henry Clay Blvd., E Liberty Ln (from Primary School to West City Limits), Salinda Ln (as funds allow). These have a projected budget of approximately $75,000.

Then there is the TAP Grant Project which is a grant funded project for pedestrian safety improvements throughout town. TAP will include: Sidewalk to be constructed from Allegiance Ave to the Southern Boone Primary School, Installation of new Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) Crosswalk Systems at Amanda Dr and S Henry Clay Blvd, and S Crump Ln at Southern Boone High School. There is planned construction of a new, public access, walking trail around perimeter of Southern Boone YMCA property which will connect Liberty Landing North Subdivision to S Main St as development completes latter phases. The TAP grant budget is approximately $300,000.

MoDOT ADA Sidewalk Improvement Project:

In other street plans, the MoDOT project at Main St and E Broadway (Rt M) is for construction on ADA compliant crosswalks on all sides of intersection, replacement of sidewalks on North side of E Broadway (Rt M) from Main St to Chico Dr. and an addition of ADA compliant sidewalk ramps in 100 block of E Broadway (Rt M).

There will be curb and gutter repairs for the replacement of several hundred linear feet of curb and gutter throughout town, with a projected budget of approximately $50,000. The purchase of a striping machine will enable APW crews to complete regular striping of roadways and parking stalls throughout town. All future striping will be completed in-house, generating enough savings within 2 years to offset equipment purchase costs. The striping budget is approximately $20,000.

In addition to finding new ways to save money for the taxpayers on equipment, the planning by way of the Transportation Master Plan, will help identify future transportation needs of the city to help guide future development projects and large transportation related capital improvement projects. This will also allow for and assist with future planning needs to ensure tax dollars are spent in an effective and efficient way while conducting repair, replacement, our transportation outlay projects.

Storm Water
Always a concern with resident and APW, storm water improvements are planned in two key areas. First is the Oak St Project. Phase 1 of this project will be completed this year, which includes the following: installation of larger inlet boxes, addition of area inlet boxes, replacement of failed culverts, and realignment of new curb and gutter on Oak St to divert runoff properly. This project is estimated to be approximately $140,000. Second up will be the Caspian Detention Basin Project which includes design engineering for basin drainage improvements, and anticipated scope of work will be to add an outfall junction box and several hundred linear feet of drainage pipes.

Sanitary Sewer
The Waste Water Treatment Plant is currently in the design phase for required expansion. It will increase plant capacity from the current 600,000 gallons per day to 1.6 million gallons per day. It is anticipated for construction to begin and be completed in 2025.

Parks and Recreation
Community Park Improvement Project is currently working with Planning Design Studio for design of multiple park improvements, which include Trail access and lighting upgrades, playground equipment replacement, and stormwater improvements. With the previous additions of a nice tennis/pickle ball court, improvements to the baseball field, new bathrooms (assisted with grant funding), residents will continue to witness improvement efforts by APW to their recreational facilities this year.