Tonight at Joplin council: wastewater rate study and airport construction

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After tonight’s city council meeting, the city of Joplin will conduct a wastewater rate study.

The city will need to update the rates since the current rate term is ending. The current sewer rates were established in 2015, and the five-year period for those rates is coming to an end.

The city will spend nearly $52 thousand dollars to hire Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company to study sewer systems inside and just outside Joplin city limits. The study will encompasses 435 miles of collection system and two wastewater collection systems in the Joplin area. The company will then analyze the findings, come back to the city who might adjust the rates as needed. It will take around 8 months to complete, then if there is a difference, Joplin residents will receive that money.

“A citizen can sit there and say ‘well my bill right now for 2019 is this’ and then the next rate increase will be this amount. Then times that percentage of what they have and that will give them a pretty good indication about where they’ll be,” says Lynden Lawson, Public Works Assistant Director.

Joplin city leaders also approve construction at the airport to accommodate the bigger aircrafts headed to the airport this year. More than $461 thousand dollars will be used for construction observation of the reconstruction observation of taxiway D. The taxiway was built more than 20 years ago for the smaller planes that were coming in and out of Joplin.

Within the past couple years, the airport has made agreements with American Airlines to bring in bigger commercial flights to suit the increase of travelers. So, to accommodate the increase of travelers and the bigger planes, the airport manager says it’s just another step to making this facility more traveler-friendly.

“We’ve done a good job of taking care of it, but over the last couple years American has been flying bigger airplanes into Joplin, which is a good thing. It’s great. It’s increased our service and we’re excited about that, but it has taken a toll on that taxiway,” says Steve Stockam, Joplin Regional Airport Manager.

The FAA will pay more than $438 thousand dollars for the construction observation, leaving the city of Joplin responsible for the more than $23 thousand dollars left over. The more than seven million dollar construction project will begin in March and be completed by this summer.

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