Wright City hires engineer for downtown, approves license camera contract

Adam Rollins, Staff Writer
Posted 5/12/22

The Wright City government recently approved contract agreements with an engineer for downtown infrastructure projects and with a security company that will provide license-tracking smart …

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Wright City hires engineer for downtown, approves license camera contract

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The Wright City government recently approved contract agreements with an engineer for downtown infrastructure projects and with a security company that will provide license-tracking smart cameras.

The contract for downtown engineering is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize Wright City’s historical commercial district from the ground up. The city’s board of aldermen voted on April 28 to hire engineering firm Bartlett & West to create a comprehensive plan for downtown infrastructure improvements.

Engineers will develop a list of projects related to roads, stormwater drainage, and handicap accessibility, and will also provide consulting related to planning for those projects, according to the contract. The master plan developed by engineers will include conceptual designs and cost estimates for any improvement projects, but not the final detailed engineering.

Bartlett & West’s charge for their engineering service is about $108,800.

The firm is one of three engineering services that had expressed interest in doing the downtown infrastructure planning. Bartlett & West was selected after a process of scoring company qualifications and interviewing representatives.

The city is taking the initiative to begin planning downtown improvements at the urging of area business owners, who want to see one of the city’s oldest districts return to being a center of community and commerce in town. But for that to happen, investments need to be made into both public infrastructure and private buildings, business leaders say.

Mayor Michelle Heiliger has previously told The Record that once the city has substantial project plans in place, that could open the door for state or federal grant funding to help pay for the projects. Such grants often call for the recipients to have a firm understanding of the scope and cost of their projects.

License cameras

The Wright City Board of Aldermen also approved a service contract with Flock Safety, a security tech company that will provide and maintain two cameras capable of identifying and tracking vehicle license plates and other identifying information.

The contract with Flock Safety was approved with a 3-1 vote, with Alderman Karey Owens voting against (the same result as a preliminary vote taken earlier in April).

The cameras have drawn significant debate and controversy since being proposed. The systems automatically store photos and information about passing vehicles in a central database provided by Flock and accessible by member law enforcement agencies. That identifying information can then be searched by police officers investigating crimes. All photos and data are deleted after 30 days, according to Flock.

Wright City Police Chief Tom Canavan and several elected leaders have promoted the cameras as a tool for investigating thefts and break-ins, many of which are blamed on thieves traveling the I-70 corridor looking for easy towns to target.

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