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story.lead_photo.caption The Mokane Board of Aldermen interviews engineering consultants CPWG Engineering. Photo by Olivia Garrett / Fulton Sun.

MOKANE — The Mokane Board of Aldermen has met with three engineering firms, making progress on the city's water and sewer projects.

One of the firms will be tasked with fixing Mokane's aging systems and bringing them up to Missouri Department of Natural Resource requirements. The three in consideration are Engineering Surveys and Services, CPWG Engineering and Bartlett & West.

Engineering Surveys and Services is a Mid-Missouri firm that has done previous work in the area, including conducting a sewer survey in Mokane two years ago. CPWG is a Tampa-based firm with a Branson office, while Bartlett & West is a Kansas company with offices in Missouri including Columbia and Jefferson City.

The city spoke with Engineering Surveys and Services and CPWG on Monday evening during the board's monthly meeting, and Bartlett & West previously.

During the two Monday interviews, board members focused questions on how hands-on each firm would be if chosen, communication and whether there would be sub-consultants.

During one of the interviews, board member Shauna Lenhard said Mokane needs a partner that can hold the city's hand through the process.

Mayor Jo Belmont said the city will choose an engineering consultant this week.

The water project stems from DNR orders, which has expressed dissatisfaction with the system for years dating back to before the city took control of the water system from the Mokane Water Co-op in 2018.

Belmont and mayor pro-tem Chad Booher updated the board on a recent conversation with DNR about the project's progress.

"The big thing is it was very positive — they are just happy with us," Booher said.

Booher said the board has developed that positive relationship with communication and work to meet expectations ahead of time.

"They (DNR) are very supportive — more than the rumor has been," Belmont said. "For years, it (the rumor) has been, here's Mokane, here's DNR. Through all this, that has not been the case at all. They've been incredibly helpful."

In 2020, the city made a number of steps on water and sewer projects, including a $2,469,692.40 bond issue approved by voters in June, as well as lift station repairs this summer finally repairing damage from the 2019 spring flood.

"We aren't just sitting around," Belmont said. "We're taking the steps we need to."

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