Kelly Creek buyout documents approved

Saturday, May 16, 2020

City building added back in, conclusion expected in July

The Monett City Council has taken action on three resolutions to move the FEMA buyout of property along Kelly Creek forward, projecting a conclusion to the project by the end of July.

City Administrator Dennis Pyle said administrators of the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) agreed to cover the full 25 percent match needed for the non-federal portion of the buyout. Otherwise, the city would pay the match.

The total cost of the project required adjustment, approved by council members, with the discovery of additional asbestos in the former hotel/farm implement business/VFW buildings at Fifth and Front street by Gerken Environmental. Gerken presented the city with a quote to remove the additional asbestos at a cost of $36,748, more than doubling the original cost to a new price of $61,518.

A resolution was adopted to cover the additional cost.

“Following the acquisition of the three properties, we had unused funds from the acquisition, title insurance, surveys, relocation assistance and legal/advertising budget line items that totaled $51,518, which were then transferred to the asbestos removal budget to cover the additional costs relating to the old VFW building,” Pyle said. “Then, we requested a grant increase of $99,746.42 to cover demolition costs associated with the city’s public works building. SEMA/FEMA [the state and federal emergency management agencies] agreed to pay $74,809.82 and CDBG agreed to pay the local match of $24,936.60. The additional funds came from unused funds from other projects.

“So, the total project costs are now $659,741.42 with SEMA/FEMA contributing 75 percent or $494,806.06. CDBG contributing 25 percent or $164,935.36. The original budget was $559,995 and was increased by $99,746.42.”

Buyout of the public works building at Sixth and Broadway, built in the mid-1940s by M.E. Gillioz after the removal of Monett’s original Railroad YMCA building, had been shelved when demolition bids exceeded original estimates. It was speculated that the presence of 15 vehicles still in the body shop area by the previous owner of the VFW property contributed to a higher than expected demolition bid.

“The removal of the vehicles did not reduce the cost.” Pyle said. “They would’ve added to the cost if they had remained in the building, but the owner was required to remove them.

Pyle anticipated FEMA would approve the final paperwork by mid-May. Once approved, Pyle said the city could issue a notice to proceed with Gerken, starting about 10 days later. He expected asbestos removal to conclude by around June 1.

At that point, AD Demolition would move it. Under FEMA guidelines, the company will have 60 days to conclude. With the buildings removed, Monett Main Street will be positioned to begin eyeing the site between Fifth and Sixth streets for its proposed dog park.

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