Meta Drinking Water Project still uncertain

By Elise Brochu, UD Staff Writer
Posted 6/19/24

META — The engineer’s report from Bartlett & West, provided to the Board of Aldermen for last Wednesday’s meeting, stated that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) results were …

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Meta Drinking Water Project still uncertain


META — The engineer’s report from Bartlett & West, provided to the Board of Aldermen for last Wednesday’s meeting, stated that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) results were released, and Meta is in the eligible/waitlisted category for the Drinking Water Project.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proclaimed that they would give the city a $1,500,000 grant with a $1,500,000 loan to fund the improvements on the engineering report. The city has selected D.A. Davidson to discuss project financing, and that firm is looking at the user rate impact.

“I think DA Davidson has finally realized that I wasn’t off my rocker when I told them we couldn’t do a $3,000,000 water project and afford it, because they still haven’t called me back,” said City Clerk Deidra Buechter. 

For stormwater, Bartlett & West reported that they have begun development of a final plan and is working with MoDOT, State Parks, and Meramec Regional Planning Commission on coordination of permits. The firm continues to coordinate with DNR for the Lead Service Line Inventory (LSLI).

They have received 69 customer surveys back, and plan to pothole — dig small holes —  on the city side of water meters in late June or early July to check the supply lines for lead pipe. The city was awarded $50,000 in State Revolving Fund (SRF) grant money for LSLI.

City maintenance personnel are very pleased with the new mower. Citizens have expressed concern over the additional fuel dollars spent to keep the grass cut neatly, but it was reported that the city spent just $880 on gas for 2023-24,  as opposed to $1,400 in 2022-23.

“I’d rather it look nice,” said Mayor Ivie Helton.

Maintenance personnel are proud of how the ball field looks, and plan to seed a few more areas this fall. They have also been working on filling potholes.

Helton mentioned she had received several complaints about the pavilion area not being “up to snuff” for two recent rentals, but acknowledged that some things, like flooding and excessive rain, are outside the city’s control.

It was mentioned that the built-in BBQ grill needs work. City staff mentioned that it is rarely used, but others questioned whether it would be used more if it was in better condition. The board intends to look at repair costs and options before making a decision.

“If we’re going to (fix) it, we need to hurry up and do it,” said Helton, “because that way people can use it during summertime. Otherwise wait until the spring of next year and do it, because otherwise you’re just upgrading it or replacing it just for it to go into wintertime.”

The board also voted to add a display box at the park for instructions, and selected signs to order to warn of speed bumps, children at play, and to stay off the field when wet.

Fourth of July Celebration donation requests have been sent. Flyers are complete and will be posted. Fireworks will be done by the same company as last year. Parking will be limited.

The Holiday Mart will be held again this year, spearheaded by former mayor Emily Sommerer. 

The Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office has requested a Cultural Resources Survey for the new park site. The board voted to put out an RFP/RFQ to the archeologists on the list provided. The project budget includes approximately $3,900 for the survey.

The city attorney updated the board on the status of pending legal action for properties with excessive weeds, trash, and/or maintenance issues.

The next scheduled meeting will be July 10 at 6:30 p.m.