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A bothersome and busy Farmington intersection may soon undergo a 90-day trial of new four-way traffic control signs after a Public Works Committee report favoring installation was presented at the Jan. 10 meeting of the Farmington City Council.

The report was given by Farmington Public Works Director Larry Lacy in the absence of committee chairman Councilman John Crouch.

“We talked about a number of things tonight, but the things we took action on were forwarding a motion on to the Public Safety Committee for a four-way stop at Potosi and Maple streets and a three-way stop at Hazel Lane and Parkland Drive,” Lacy told the council.

According to Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers, the placement of the four-way stop sign at the Potosi and Maple intersection could provide a much-needed solution to an increasingly busy traffic area in the city.

“The problem for the city is that we’re just kind of geographically restrained,” he said. “To really do what needs to be done at that intersection — to really fully expand it — would involve affecting some buildings. You know, we’ve got a church on one corner, houses on two corners and a business on the other corner. They’re not interested in having their front yard corners taken out to expand that intersection.”

The city took public input on the four-way-stop through an informal survey placed on social media.

Beavers explained, “Public Works took a look at it and said, ‘Yes, this is something that is worth consideration.’ Our other council committee, which is our Public Safety Committee, will have it on their agenda to look at it, not from an engineering standpoint so much as a public safety standpoint with our law enforcement folks.

“If they concur with that, then the city council will approve it for a 90-day trial. We put all our new traffic control devices on a 90-day trial before we implement it. So, if it goes to that measure and that step — and I think it probably will — when we put those signs up we have these little yellow signs that we put up beneath (them) that has our phone number and basically says, ‘Proposed traffic ordinance. For public comment call this number.’”

Beavers explained that before the city approves an ordinance it observes the intersection to determine if the signs are going to function the way they are supposed to.

“Sometimes in those situations you just don’t know until you stick it on the wall and see what happens,” he said. “That’s always been Farmington’s procedure.”

Maple Street Sidewalk

In other action, council members approved an ordinance authorizing Mayor Larry Forsythe to “enter into and execute a Transportation Alternatives Funds Program Agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission” for the construction of sidewalk on Maple Street.

“I think the Maple Street sidewalk is somewhat related to the same problem, which is that Maple Street, with the new commercial development, has become a well-traveled road” Beavers said. “The vehicle capacity on the road is adversely impacted by having pedestrians walking on the edge of the road instead of up on a sidewalk.

“So, we were able to — through MoDOT that has this [approximately] $1.7 million grant program throughout the district — capture $270,000 which represents 75 percent of our project estimate for this. That will give a safe pedestrian corridor from Potosi Street at the intersection in question, all the way back up to Maple Valley Drive at the stoplight.”

Sewer Improvements

At the meeting, the city council also let a $210,000 contract to Visu-Sewer for the purpose of installing a cured-in-place-pipe project (CIPP) and lateral sealing systems in the Holiday Park subdivision.

“Visu-Sewer has something unique to their product that the other companies don’t offer, which is a lateral lane,” Beavers said. “When you have a clay tile sewer lane and the service entrances connect those lanes — where the peoples’ houses connect to those clay tile lanes — you can’t really cut a round hole or put a good clean joint on a clay tile lane easily like you do with PVC.

“With PVC, you drill a hole in it, you’ve got a saddle that goes on it, and that’s water tight when it goes on. Clay tile — the way they used to do it back in the day — they’d just bust a hole in the thing and stick a pipe down in there. If you were lucky they’d throw some concrete grout around it. You’d get a lot of leakage where that service bond connects onto that sewer lane.

"Visu-Sewer, after they line the main and then they run a cutter up in there and cut the hole where the service line comes in, they have a lining system that runs up into the service line a ways and then seals that off, so you don’t have that leak around that service line anymore. They’re the only company that works in our region that provides that particular element that we think is a superior product to have.”

Holdman Recognized

Mayor Forsythe also took time in the meeting to present service awards to two individuals in the meeting. The first was to retired councilman Darrel Holdman, who served on council for 12 years, having been first elected in 2006.

“He had a professional working background in township government in Ohio, as well as city planning and zoning,” said Beavers. “He served for the first several years as the council representative on the Farmington Planning and Zoning Commission. He was a good, strong stable voice — that’s probably the best way to term it.

“When he voiced his opinion about something he was very thoughtful and insightful about it. He was always willing to express his views in a respectful way, even if his views were in opposition to how the majority was leaning. He did a good job for us.”

In presenting the award to Holdman, Forsythe said, “I’ll tell you, this guy, I’ve served with him for many years and he was right most of the time. Matter of fact, according to him he was right all of the time, but I learned a lot from him, and I wish that I’d paid more attention to what he was telling me instead of saying, ‘Well, what do you think old man,’ you know?’

“When he first came on it was kinda’ like, ‘Well, we did it where we was from,’ and I said, ‘Well, you’re not from there no more — you’re from Farmington.’ He got me to learn that all of the communities throughout are about basically the same when you boil down to it. We all live the same way and we all strive for the same thing. Darrel taught me that.

“He really helped me understand a lot about city government — a lot about planning and zoning. If he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t beat around the bush. He’d say, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’ I tried to get us to meet at 6 o’clock. ‘No! No! No! We’re not meeting at 6 o’clock!’ I’d say, ‘Well, you get here at five!’ He’d say, ‘I don’t care! We’re still not meeting here at 6 o’clock!’

“Anyway, he moved out of the ward last year, so I’m here to present a Farmington City Council Service Award to Darrel Holdman [who served on the council] from 2006 to 2018.

In addition, Mayor Forsythe presented Holdman with his council name plate.

“Thank you for your time, thank you for your service and thank you for just being a very cautious citizen — very understanding citizen,” Forsythe said.

Robinson Recognized

Next, the mayor recognized Shawnna Robinson, former editor of the Farmington Press who left the position at the end of November.

Forsythe said, “She was very good to the city of Farmington. She’s been very good to me whenever I’ve called and said, ‘Shawnna, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you come down and talk to me about something.’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘I want to do a VA park!’ ‘No problem, I’ll be there, I’ll be there.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Is she married? Has she got kids? Because she’s always doing something. Whenever you call, she’s there!

“Whenever we found out that she had went on to other ventures I had to do something because she is so much a part of this city. In my mind, she’s so much a part of this council because she was here every time. She would write very good articles and she really stuck up for us.

The next meeting of the Farmington City Council will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 28.

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Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or kjenkins@farmingtonpressonline.com

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