An effort by the city of Maryville to upgrade the West Fourth Street corridor between downtown and Northwest Missouri State University received a major boost this week with the approval of tax credits by the state Department of Economic Development expected to provide $487,000 for infrastructure, landscaping and other improvements.
The Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits were issued to the Nodaway County Economic Development Corp., which will sell them to groups and individuals interested in supporting the project.
A similar financing scheme was used to generate funds for construction of a new "streetscape" consisting of vintage-style lighting and ornamental pavement around the courthouse square, an effort completed in 2011.
According to NCED Executive Director Lee Langerock, tax credit revenues will be used for decorative lighting, landscaping, walkway enhancements and public art. Langerock said a portion of the funding will also be designated for a program designed to assist Fourth Street business owners in upgrading store facades.
"NCED is pleased to provide support to this worthy project," Langerock said in a prepared statement. "We greatly appreciate the state of Missouri’s investment in our community and look forward to providing service to the development of the Fourth Street corridor."
Approval of the tax credits means that nearly half the funding for the $1.5 million streetscape project is now in place.
Earlier this year, the city received a $240,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation earmarked an 8-foot-wide concrete walking/bicycling path and other pedestrian features along the north side of West Fourth between Main and Dunn streets. The path will be constructed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Acts and include ramps at intersections.
City Manager Greg McDanel said Thursday that, with nearly $730,000 in hand following sale of the tax credits, it is likely the city will move forward on a number of planned improvements then complete the project piecemeal as funds become available.
McDanel said the city's engineer, SK Design Group, has completed a conceptual design for the Fourth Street makeover and is to present those plans to the City Council at Monday's regular session, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
In addition to new walkways, bike paths, lighting, landscaping and a masonry retaining wall, the Fourth Street project is to include a layer of fresh asphalt over the deteriorated driving surface and reconstruction of an awkward three-point intersection at Fourth and Dunn, which will be reconfigured as a simple "T."
The effort to upgrade West Fourth has included assistance from Northwest Missouri State, which provided $55,000 as its share of $152,000 in engineering and design costs.