Tonight at Joplin council

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Joplin city leaders discuss a few big issues at tonights city council meeting, like raising entry fees at town pools.

Fees not have been raised in six years and in 2017, the pools lost a total of $245 thousand dollars. To offset that the finance department recommended raising entry fees. Each pool entry fee will be raised by as much as a dollar, and will be effective on April 1st if passed. This ordinance now moves to second and third reading.

Also on the agenda, lowering the speed limit for a portion of Fourth Street. Between Pennsylvania and Murphy Boulevard, Fourth Street will now go from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. This is due to the new railroad crossing that intersects on Fourth. To sustain the longevity and sustainability of the railroad structure city council agreed that lowering the speed limit will help keep the crossing in good shape.

City leaders also discuss an East Fifteenth Street extension that could create curbs and gutters for the road going into the Walmart parking lot. This project has been in the works since 2005, but there have been some setbacks. Now, the city will be entering an agreement with Anderson Engineering who will consult on the designs of East 15th Street. This $215 thousand dollar agreement will be amended into the this fiscal year’s budget.

“The development has seen some improvements, but yeah this is a good safety mechanism if you drive through that and you have that parking lot feeling it’s going to a lot safer with the curb and gutter and controlled access into the street,” says David Hertzberg, Public Works Director.

In 2005, the city council passed a tif that will reimburse a portion of the project costs back to the city. That is estimated to be more than $1 million dollars.

Council also looked at a change in legislation that will save money. The city of Joplin will no longer have to pay for air traffic control. Senator Roy Blunt passed a clause at the end of 2018 to make Joplin and other commercial airports eligible for a 50/50 local match funding for air traffic control services. With this additional funding and a continuation of the existing MODOT grant with Joplin Regional Airport, the city will be reimbursed all extra costs and no longer be responsible for paying air traffic control.

“Basically, we had been receiving 50 percent of what we were spending, and now with the new clause that Senator Blunt helped with,  because our writership is more than 25,000 in a year- we will be able to get 100 percent back which helps offset our operational costs, so it’s good news for us,” says Leslie Haase, Joplin Finance Director.

The tower is now fully funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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