JOPLIN, Mo — On August 3, the City of Joplin voted to RENEW the ¼-cent Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax with 1,948 YES votes and 503 NO votes. Approximately $41 million will be collected by this renewal over the ten-year period, according to Joplin’s website.

The Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax was originally passed in 2001 and renewed in 2011, expiring on March 31, 2022. It won’t increase sales taxes, will allow for the improvement of parks and the stormwater system in Joplin, and is expected to positively impact the city’s development.

“As the City of Joplin continues to grow, so does the need for services.  A significant element in any city relates to the quality of life issues that includes enjoying clean and well-maintained parks with green space, playgrounds, and trails. Activities, programs, and events are also important for citizens as many seek leisure and sports-related offerings for themselves and their families,” states the website.

Through public meetings and surveys, the citizens of Joplin helped decide the focus of the upcoming projects. The ten-year master plan includes 14 parks projects and 12 stormwater projects.

Parks projects include:

  • Dover Outdoor Recreation Area and Bicycle Park: “The park consists of 95 acres of mostly undeveloped land on the south side of Zora Road and east of Lone Elm Road.”
    • “Improvements to W. Soccer Field Road
    • Restoration of the southern acreage to native prairie
    • Development of the northern acreage to support suite of bicycle related amenities such as a BMX style pump track, a children’s bike playground, and 5 – 7 miles of single-track mountain bike trail.”
  • Ewert Park
    • “Renovation of the existing swimming pool into a splash park with an ice ribbon for winter use.
    • Installation of a new covered open air basketball pavilion on the park’s north end
    • Conversion of the existing basketball courts south of the pool into an amphitheater”
    • The skatepark will also be seeing improvements such as added lighting
  • Trail Improvements
    • “Main Street Underpass
      • New 500-foot stretch of trail which would carry pedestrians and cyclists under the Main Street viaduct avoiding the Main Street and Murphy Boulevard intersection.
    • Dover Connector
      • Connects Landreth Park to the eastern segment of the new Katy Trail and Dover Outdoor Recreation Area.”

Stormwater projects include:

  • Catch Basin & Ditch Maintenance
    • “The City has many miles of improved and unimproved ditches that must be maintained. In order for the stormwater system to function properly, obstructions must be removed on a regular basis to prevent clogging of the system, which can lead to severe flooding.”
    • Clean silt and debris out of catch basins and stormwater pipes to remain in compliance with the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Permit requirements.
  • Economic Development: Funds will be used as part of Economic Incentive Package for Industrial Prospects only for “Job Creation” projects

Projects of the past decade

  • The largest stormwater project focused on open and closed channels in the area of 7th Street and Illinois Avenue where Joplin Creek flows under 7th Street, reducing flooding
  • Revitalized Schifferdecker Pool to an aquatic center
  • Upgraded several Joplin parks
    • Landreth Park playground now offers accessible features and shade partitions
    • Skatepark at Ewert Park
    • Leonard Park improved
  • City roadways are more manageable during large rainfall incidents
  • Stormwater capacity for Joplin Creek and Iowa Branch expanded to prevent future flooding
  • Stormwater management projects completed near Turkey Creek at Florida Avenue and Newman Road

For more results from the August 3 election, click here.