Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 50
Published in the Warrensburg Gazette July 13, 2000

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

Two things were notable about last Thursday's "Streetscape Consultant" briefing on the downtown street renovation project: the consultant gave straight talk advice without "blowing smoke" and very few of the business people to be affected heard him. Briefly, the project is funded by the grant the City just received on behalf of Warrensburg Main Street, Inc. and is the first phase of a project to renovate streets and sidewalks, renovate and bury all utilities, and make downtown more attractive. This first phase covers the 100 & 200 blocks of North Holden.

The consultant gave excellent advice in several areas. He told his listeners (a plurality being people involved in Main Street) that they need to get all affected businesses involved, they need to have the plans well finalized before the City bids the project, the construction needs to start early enough to not run over into winter (that makes sense - don't take a chance on losing Parent's Weekend & Homecoming just to be open for Graduation), and they need to have plans for encouraging people to come downtown despite the construction. He had plenty of good suggestions, but he didn't mention how to keep inebriates from our adult beverage establishments from falling into construction pits or vandalizing contractor equipment.

A business owner posed a question that wasn't answered: who would be responsible for tying in the buildings to new sewers. That made me notice - the consultant talked a lot about getting downtown businesses involved, but didn't mention property owners. I doubt that certain property owners would be willing to pay for anything, based on the way they maintain their buildings; if they tried to rent residential space that way they'd be called slumlords.

Another question asked got me to doing some research on the matter of sewers. I was told that there is no independent storm sewer system for roof drainage from downtown buildings; the rainwater goes into the sanitary system. This is what causes sewer backups downtown and adds to sewage plant capacity problems. The project needs to separate the sanitary & storm systems, which will require engineering effort to identify all the sewer connections so they can be tied into the correct system, and the City must plan to safely direct stormwaters. Then again, maybe the runoff from our roofs & streets is contaminated enough to require treatment.

All in all, the project should make for a better downtown, but it could also be a nightmare if the City, Main Street, downtown property owners, and downtown merchants don't follow the conultant's advice and work closely together.

| Old Drum Net Home | Gadfly Index |

This website compliments of
Cedarcroft Enterprises
including Cedarcroft Farm Bed & Breakfast
431 Southeast County Road Y, Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093
(660)747-5728 \