Tonight at Joplin council

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The first Joplin city council meeting of the year ends with some ordinances passed that will lead to big changes coming soon.

The Joplin airport will be expanding to offer flights to and from Chicago. Air service to the windy city will begin in June. The ordinances passed tonight agreed to have the city of Joplin and the Chamber of Commerce Foundation sharing responsibility for the $600 thousand dollar agreement with American Airlines. Now, the manager of the airport has to get the rest of the paperwork signed for the agreement with American Airlines to be finalized.

“They’re wanting to load the fares in the schedule this coming weekend, and we would like those tickets to go on sale as quickly as possible, so we can start selling those,” says Steve Stockam, Joplin Regional Airport manager.

Also, the Joplin airport will be adding another regularly scheduled flight to Dallas starting in April.

The city of Joplin is also looking at adding more input from a certain demographic of residents. Tonight, an ordinance was discussed to establish a youth council as an official advisory board to the city council. The youth council will consist of 11 students from different Joplin high schools that will share their opinions about city matters, and get opportunities to learn more about how the city works.

“A quarter of our citizens are under 18, and we’re not really regularly hearing from them. I don’t know if there’s a good outlet for them to get involved with us or understand how to give us their input, and we’re seeing this happen in a lot of cities all over the country, so we want to participate in that,” says Taylor Cunningham, Asst. to City Manager.

The ordinance passed to a second and third reading at the next city council meeting.

And Joplin residents will be seeing more road construction within the city. 44th street will be widened to 5 lanes with bike lanes and pedestrian facilities after an emergency ordinance passed. The project will go from Connecticut Avenue to Range Line Road, and widen part of Connecticut Avenue from 32nd to 44th streets. There will also be manhole casting replacements done from the streets project.

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