A proposed $1.7 million roundabout for the intersection of Dunklin and Clark streets on Jefferson City’s east side took a big step toward reality this month when the city council agreed to purchase a parcel of property on the intersection for $250,000.
The parcel is owned by trusts in the name of Donald R. Rackers and Clara M. Rackers. The current building on the property is leased and occupied by The Joshua House Church.
Ward 5 council member Jon Hensley questioned purchase of the property before final approval of the project, which he also believes may be flawed.
“I remain really concerned about acquiring property to make way for a project that hasn’t been finally approved yet,” Hensley said. Hensley explained that he thinks the problem with the intersection could be solved more inexpensively, and the money better used on other streets in the area.
Owners of the property, upon hearing of the plan, contacted the city and asked if the property sale could take place before the right-of-way plans were developed. City staff believed having a willing seller would be advantageous and recommended the city move on the owners willingness to sell the property at this time.
Council ultimately voted to move forward with the purchase, with Hensley and Ward 2 council member Laura Ward voting no.
Council also approved a lease of the building to The Joshua Street Church for $100 per month in exchange for the church taking over responsibility for upkeep of the property. It is anticipated that January 2021 would be the earliest the city would need the property in preparation for the roundabout construction.