BOARD OF DIRECTORS
September 21, 2016
Jackson Civic Center – Jackson, MO
Board Voting Members Present:
Mr. Chauncy Buchheit, Southeast Missouri Regional Planning & Economic Development Commission (SEMO RPC)
Ms. Beth Glaus, Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO University)(appointed alternate for Kathy Mangels)
Mr. Dwain Hahs, City of Jackson
Ms. Molly Hood, City of Cape Girardeau (appointed alternate for Scott Meyer)
Mr. Mark Phillips, Cape Special Road District
Mr. Harry Rediger, City of Cape Girardeau
Mr. Jim Roach, City of Jackson
Board Non-Voting Members Present:
Mr. Mike Brandon, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
Mr. Matt Seiler, Missouri Department of Transportation
Technical Planning Committee Members Present:
Mr. Rodney Bollinger, City of Jackson
Mr. Drew Christian, Southeast Missouri Regional Planning & Economic Development
Mr. Curtis Jones, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
Mr. Joe Killian, Missouri Department of Transportation
Mr. John Mehner, Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET
Mr. Brian Okenfuss, Missouri Department of Transportation
Mr. Alex McElroy, City of Cape Girardeau
Mr. Ryan Shrimplin, City of Cape Girardeau
Call to Order
Chairman Buchheit called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.
The group went around the room, with each person giving a brief introduction.
There were no public comments.
Adoption of Agenda
The agenda of the September 21, 2016 Board of Directors Meeting was unanimously approved for adoption upon motion made by Mr. Hahs and seconded by Mr. Rediger.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the August 17, 2016 Board of Directors Meeting were unanimously approved upon motion made by Mr. Roach and seconded by Mr. Phillips.
Communications from the Chairman
Chairman Buchheit announced that the Board of Directors received a copy of a letter from Earl H. Norman with Benton Hill Investment Company to MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna regarding MoDOT’s repurposing of Cape Girardeau County earmarks. In the letter, Mr. Norman expressed his extreme concern with taking the funds away from Cape Girardeau County and using them in Scott County instead. He also expressed frustration with the lack of progress on reconstructing the interchange at Mile Marker 93.
Mr. Seiler explained that Congress recently passed an omnibus bill authorizing states to repurpose unobligated balances on any earmark that was designated on or before September 30, 2005 as long as the earmark is less than 10% obligated or the project is closed but has remaining unobligated funds. The federal government issued guidance on how states are to handle repurposing the earmarks. MoDOT, acting within the federal guidance, determined that the unobligated funds in Missouri should be redirected to projects that help MoDOT take care of the state highway system. Due to Missouri’s transportation funding situation, MoDOT is not funding any additional projects involving new construction of highways or bridges. The repurposing of the earmarks “cleans up the books” and allows the funds to be used in a manner consistent with MoDOT’s directive from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. He added that MoDOT is conducting a study of the Mile Marker 93 interchange; the project manager will present the findings to the SEMPO Board in November, 2016.
Mr. Rediger stated that a vision for the Mile Marker 93 interchange is needed as it is no longer a functional interchange.
Mr. Mehner stated the earmark for the Mile Marker 93 interchange was the result of hard work on the part of several people who are still in this area and feel the funds should remain here.
In response to a question from Mr. Rediger, Mr. Seiler stated the study of Interstate 55 from Fruitland to Scott City has not started.
Chairman Buchheit asked for clarification on the suspension of the Missouri Moves program. Mr. Seiler stated the funds have been authorized, but they cannot be spent due to state budget restrictions. Mr. Killian stated the program is on hold; if the funds are reinstated, the schedule will need to be extended. It was noted that the budget restrictions have also affected Missouri’s ports.
Chairman Buchheit presented RESOLUTION NO. 2016-12, A Resolution amending the Public Participation Plan. Mr. Shrimplin stated a public comment period was held in accordance with the Public Participation Plan (PPP). In addition, the Board held a public hearing on August 17, 2016. No comments were received. Mr. Rediger made a motion to approve RESOLUTION NO. 2016-12. Mr. Phillips seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Rediger reported the Veterans Memorial Drive Phase 5 project is in progress, with an estimated completion in late November or early December, 2016. The Independence Street/Gordonville Road/East Rodney Drive intersection is closed for 60 days for construction of the roundabout. The notice to proceed has been issued for the South Sprigg Street bridge. Construction on the Bloomfield Road Phase 5 project will begin soon. The 2016 neighborhood street repair program is nearing completion. The extension of Veterans Memorial Drive through the Midamerica Hotels property at Center Junction is underway.
Mr. Hahs stated the US-61/East Main Street roundabout project is 4 weeks away from completion. The asphalt overlay program is underway. The city-wide traffic study will be conducted next year.
Mr. Phillips mentioned the Cape Special Road District is doing routine maintenance and nearing completion of the County Road 651 bridge replacement project.
Mr. Okenfuss indicated the damaged bridge beam at the Mile Marker 93 interchange has been replaced. Equipment has been added to detect oncoming vehicles/loads exceeding the height limit and warn the drivers in advance. The Jackson sidewalk project has been delayed to November or December, 2016.
Chairman Buchheit informed the group that the Cape Girardeau County Hazard Mitigation Plan update has been approved by SEMA and is available on the SEMO RPC’s website.
Mr. Mehner announced that the City of Cape Girardeau and Midamerica Hotels Corporation will be forming a Transportation Development District (TDD) for the extension of Veterans Memorial Drive through the Midamerica Hotels property at Center Junction, including a traffic signal if warranted.
Mr. Seiler stated MoDOT is in the process of hiring a consultant to conduct an environmental study for the Chester Bridge.
Mr. Jones mentioned the 2016 IDOT Fall Planning Conference will be held October 6-7 in the Quad Cities.
Mr. Killian announced that Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) applications are now being accepted. The application deadline is November 1, 2016. The TPC will be asked to rate the projects submitted for the SEMPO planning area at its November 2, 2016 meeting. Awards will be announced in early January, 2017.
Other Business and Communications
Mr. Shrimplin and Mr. Christian indicated there will be upcoming amendments to the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
Upon motion made by Mr. Rediger, seconded by Mr. Phillips, the meeting was adjourned unanimously at 2:50 p.m.