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City to prioritize alley maintenance after snow, flooding delay work

Heavy snow and rounds of flooding in the last year have delayed projects for the City of St. Joseph including projects to maintain alleys.

Posted: Oct 10, 2019 4:48 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Heavy snow and rounds of flooding in the last year have delayed projects for the City of St. Joseph including projects to maintain alleys.

The city's director of public works, Andy Clements, says that alley maintenance projects have been delayed for 10 months because of an early winter and prolonged flooding.

"It's been a hard year," he said. "It's been a really hard year."

The year beginning with snow and heavy precipitation which has caused the city's alleys to fall into poor condition.

"Alleys are in really poor condition," Clements said. "They are never in good shape ever."

Alleys across St. Joseph are located on private property so city officials are not required to maintain them and do not have funds set aside to do the work.

"We have no set aside funding for alleys so we just try to get that done as best we can," Clements said. "As a service. It's not really a funded operation like street maintenance."

The city will not provide materials to maintain alleys but will use their equipment to spread the rock. It is up to the residents to provide the material to do the work.

Each year, the city spends around $200,000 on labor, gas, and equipment for alley maintenance but this year has been a different story.

"The typical window we use to do alley maintenance, with the weather and the flooding, was basically eliminated," Clements said. "We just didn't have that window."

And now crews are behind.

On Monday, a St. Joseph resident brought up this issue at the City Council meting and now the city is making changes.

"What we are doing effective Monday is we are shutting down all of our asphalt programs," Clements said.

These will delay programs but crews will be working against the clock to get alleys repaired.

"We are going to get as far down the list as we can before the snow starts flying," Clements said.

To report an alley that needs maintenance, contact the city at 816-271-4848.

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More hot and humid weather on the way for today with highs back in the upper 90s with some areas reaching triple digits. Use caution when spending time outside because heat index values will once again be in the triple digits for many. A cold front will start to approach our area tonight and stall to our north giving us a few chances for showers and thunderstorms overnight, however this activity will not be widespread. Temperatures will still be above average this weekend with highs in the 90s. A few lingering rain chances will continue this weekend, but much of the weekend will be dry. The cold front will move through the area early next week giving us some much cooler temperatures. High will be back down in the upper 70s and lower 80s to start off next week.
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