Representatives of the California School District appeared before the Board of Aldermen Aug. 7 to discuss the possibility of an additional bus exit at the high school.
The issue came up too late to be added to the meeting notice, which was sent out Friday.
The hour-long discussion became contentious at times, and led to several failed motions before an agreement was reached.
School Superintendent Dwight Sanders and School Board President Craig Ash presented the proposed use of the west-end water tower service road for an additional exit for the school buses.
Currently, the buses load and unload in front of the school, then must deal with traffic issues to leave the loading areas and cross the traffic from the rear parking lot. In the afternoons, because of the student traffic issue, the buses are sometimes as much as 20 minutes late arriving at the middle school to pick up the students after school.
When presented to the city council, the solution proposed by the California R-I School Board was questioned.
The primary issue is that the gravel, single-lane water tower service road is also a private residential driveway.
Mayor Norris Gerhart said that the use of the service road/driveway would make it a city street. He commented that, in order to use it as a city street, it should be brought up to city standards.
That would require it to be widened to two lanes, enough to accommodate school buses, and brought up to standards with a good base and asphalt overlay. All were in agreement that the funds are not available to do that at this time. In addition, the school proposes to use the road at the start of school in a few weeks.
Part of the proposal was to make it a one-way road. But, since the tower service workers and the residents who use the road need to use it to go both ways, that was a real problem for several members of the council.
Another issue arose when it was determined that the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) had not been contacted for approval. Because of the sight-line, MoDOT originally had approved the use of the road as a tower service road, because it was to be used intermittently.
There is no certainty that MoDOT will approve it to be used twice-a-day by six buses using it as an exit only.
The Board of Alderman finally approved the use of the road as an exit two times a day, provided a gate is put up to prevent other traffic from the school from using the road and provided a written document of MoDOT's is provided to the city. Additional discussions are planned.
In other business, the council:
Learned the 2016 sanitary sewer replacement project, replacing 3,000 feet of pipe, constructed by Lehman Construction LLC, has been completed under budget and met the Aug. 6 deadline.
Learned a gasket on the one-year-old Russellville Road water tower tank access hatch should be replaced.
Heard Boonslick Industries will send a representative to discuss the possibility of setting up a second drop-off point for recyclables in the city.
Accepted the resignation of Recreation Supervisor Jim Deeken, effective Aug. 18.
Announced a Tax Levy Public Hearing will be held at 6:45 p.m. with the meeting to approve at 7 p.m.
Set the next regular monthly meeting for 7 p.m. Sept. 5, due to Labor Day.