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Waynesville construction growth second-highest in history

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 19, 2008) — While St. Robert gets considerable attention for its rapid growth, Waynesville City Administrator Bruce Harrill told city council members Thursday night that their city is doing very well despite a national economic downturn.

“We’ve had a very busy construction year,” Harrill said. “This is basically, since we’ve been keeping records, the second-busiest year that we know of in the history of the city as far as construction.”

Waynesville building department staff reported 182 building permits worth $13 million so far this year; in 2002, the city had $15 million worth of construction.

Harrill said that heavily impacted the electric, water, sewer and other public works departments.

Growth is likely to continue next year as well, Harrill said.

“There are a lot of things that we’re just going to kick off at the start of our new year,” Harrill said. “I wanted to highlight that. A lot of times you hear about the things and all the issues that we need to do, but we did do a lot this year, and of course we have a lot more work to do in the future, but I think we made a lot of progress.”

The city also received what Harrill called an “early Christmas present” from Missouri Department of Transportation officials, who notified Harrill that the city’s application for a “safe routes to school” grant for sidewalk construction has been approved.

One change that won’t happen anytime soon is a new post office, however.

“We heard from the post office that they will not be going a new post office for the foreseeable future, basically due to budget constraints,” Harrill said.

City officials had attempted to get postal officials to move the Waynesville post office from its downtown location due to an increasing number of car crashes by people backing out of parking spots in front of the post office. Former police chief Don McCulloch had told city officials that the post office has become one of the most common areas for crashes in Waynesville, though most are low-speed crashes.

Councilman Mike France said he hopes Waynesville has more success replacing a flood-damaged Parks Department building.

“Parks Department, I’m not going to stop working to get you a new building,” France said. “People will get tired of me before I get tired of talking to them about it.”

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