PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg City Commission approved measures to move forward a project that will widen South Rouse, as well as create a new multi-use trail at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The commission accepted a bid from Mission Construction of St. Paul for the widening and construction of the trail. Mission’s bid came in at approximately $3.1 million, and the commission also approved city staff to remit just under $2.9 million dollars to the Kansas Department of Education for the city’s share.

The project will include adding a new southbound lane on the west side of Rouse, adding a storm sewer system and finally building a multi-use trail where the northbound lane currently is. Utilities in the area have already been moved, or are close to being completely moved.

The latest possible start date will be April 2, and Mission will have 170 days to complete the project.

Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan said he would encourage city staff to follow up with property owners along the path of the project to let them know the bid has been accepted and when construction will start.

Both lanes of traffic and access to all properties are expected to be open throughout the project.

The commission also approved the acquisition of a property at 205 N. Rouse for $16,000. The property acquisition falls in line with the city’s mid-city renaissance plan, which suggests land on the southwest corner of 4th and Rouse be used for recreation — the land falls in a floodplain.

Director of Housing and Community Development Becky Gray said the city currently owns three parcels of land on the southwest side of the intersection leading up to 205 N. Rouse, as well as two parcels on the northwest corner.

While compensating commissioners $250 per month was agreed upon at the last meeting after being championed by leaving commissioners John Ketterman and Michael Gray, an ordinance was not in place to put compensation into action. Tuesday, the new commission voted to compensate commissioners $250 per month.

It was mentioned that those who did not want the $250 could donate it back to the city. Even though many said they did not need the $250 per month, many commissioners agreed it will make serving on city government more accessible to those of all ages and income levels — possibly assisting with travel or child care expenses.

The commission also approved platting properties owned by Pittsburg Community Middle School to consolidate the properties. The action will make renovations to the school through the USD 250 bond issue easier.

The commission selected Jeremy Johnson as the next mayor of Pittsburg and he was sworn in. O’Bryan was selected as president of the commission and was also sworn in.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.