Mayor concerned cost of Rock Island not a city priority

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 11/29/23

BELLE — Belle Mayor Daryl White, Jr., responded to a request for an update on the city’s Rock Island Trail grant with concerns about the city’s financial obligation.

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Mayor concerned cost of Rock Island not a city priority


BELLE — Belle Mayor Daryl White, Jr., responded to a request for an update on the city’s Rock Island Trail grant with concerns about the city’s financial obligation.

“We’re in the process of talking — we’ve had our engineer come back and give us a preliminary of what the trails going to cost us,” White said. “It’s a little bit more than I think the city can handle.”

White said they are restricted on how much in-house work they can do.

“I’ve kinda been talkin’ to State Parks to see if we can — right now, we’ve got around $178,000 was our grant for the trail. When the engineer come back it was a little over $600,000 to put it in, which, you know, we can’t cover the difference. They figured it as prevailing cost. I shaved about $250,000 off of it within the first hour of actual figuring.”

White said there are things the city can do in-house to save money if the state will allow them to.

“We’re in the process of — obviously the city can’t afford $400,000 to do our part, it would take too much away from the city. As you know with grants, you go down the checklist and do it as they want.”

Former mayor Stever Vogt, who asked the board for a trail update, reminded the board that when engineers are involved they start with the best materials first.

“How many tons of rock did we have figured?” White asked the board. “That was one of the reasons we was lookin’ at a dump truck, if we could do the hauling in-house, it would virtually pay for the city to have a dump truck. They figured about $35 a ton for rock, well, rock if we actually buy it is $10-$11 a ton.”

Vogt added that the city’s Rock Island bed already has a base and it isn’t like they are starting from scratch.

“Well, that’s the thing,” White said. “There have been a million tons of freight hauled over the railroad for several years and we still have to go in and, I think there was $25,000-$35,000 of compaction testing to do, even though that thing has to be solid as a rock, we have to go through and make sure that it is strong enough somebody can ride a bicycle on.”

White said he doesn’t know what a freight train weighs, but it’s a lot more than a bicycle.

“I don’t want to skip on the city to put a trail — I mean, right now my greatest concern is figuring out a water and sewer plan for the future, I mean,” White said. “We’ve got to figure out growth, we’ve got to figure out — we’ve have to prioritize, ya know. That’s where I’m at. Before I bring it in front of the council, I’d like to know what it’s actually going to cost us. But it’s something that’s going to happen in the near future because we have deadlines.”

“That’s why I bring it up, because of the deadlines,” Vogt said.

“Our engineer was goin’ to go back and sharpen his pencil, ya know,” White said. “We met with him the other day. We kinda told him what we felt we was comfortable with doin’ in-house and stuff and he was goin’ to refigure that.”

Vogt suggested corporate sponsors.

“You never know, a lot of these companies have big use-it-or-lose-it budgets for big tax deductions,” Vogt said.

White said, “Right.”

“Worse they can do is tell ya no,” Vogt said.

White said they have been told no. He added the city of Gerald put its trail in.

“They didn’t take grant money they come in and built their own trail,” White said. “Myself, if somebody said you guys do this yourself, I think we could build the trial for a couple hundred thousand dollars. By taking the grant money, we have to do it their way.”

If the city did build its trail, it would still have to build to Missouri Department of Resources specifications. White said the first 48 miles of trail were completed by some of the cities along the line.

Vogt thanked the city for the update.

Earlier in the meeting, White had reintroduced the city purchasing a dump truck. The board discussed the purchase in October and White had said he would bring prices to the November meeting. White said he didn’t bring dump truck quotes to the board because he wasn’t ready to present a certain rig to the board.

“It depends on what we want to spend, from $40,000 to $200,000,” White said. “It looks to me like we could get a pretty nice truck from $60,000 to $70,000. I’ve been looking at Market Place every day and I’ve seen some stuff, $39-$50,000 too. Until I actually look at something, I can’t comfortably recommend it to the council. If you want me to start investigating them on a deeper level, I will be glad to.”

Alderman Adam Padgett asked if they needed to consider the city’s needs.

“Do we need to start looking into the usage of the city to know (what we need)?” Padgett asked.

White said he has been talking to the public works employees about it.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the trail —,” White began.

“That would determine how much you spent, how good of a truck you would need, depending on how much you were gonna use it and how much you were gonna do,” Padgett said.

“We’ve talked about, we have about $100,000 in Special Road District,” White said.

City Treasurer Charro Reasor said they had a little more than that. White said he called Montgomery City.

“They had a couple for around $70,000, but they was about half a million miles,” White said. “I have found some individual ones that are about 200,000 miles, used in construction and stuff.”

The board agreed they are looking for a tandem axle dump truck.

“A tandem axle is the difference between a 16-17-ton truck and a 25-ton truck,” White said.

It was the board’s consensus that White look into specific trucks and prices.