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Joplin City Council will Ask Voter's to Renew Capital Improvemen - KOAM TV 7

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Joplin City Council will Ask Voter's to Renew Capital Improvement Sale Tax;14 Projects on List

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -    In a unanimous vote, Joplin's city council said yes to recommendations from a citizens committee prioritizing capital improvements.

   Those projects won't happen unless a capital improvement sales tax is renewed at the end of the year.

Widening a stretch of 32nd street from Schifferdecker to Country Club road then on to Central City road near the new fire station and St. Mary’s Catholic  church are the top two priorities for a citizens task force. It’s  honing down the list of more than forty proposed projects to the top fourteen that would be funded by the capital improvement sales tax if its renewed.

Nick Heatherly, Joplin’s public works director says, “It’s mainly safety issues that we're looking at as the city grows. The increase in traffic  loads  on streets are such that the streets were not originally designed for that many cars. So you have intersections that are very unsafe just the width of the roads themselves, no shoulders, steep drop offs, things like this.”

Heatherly says a plan to widen  Zora from Range Line to Highway 249 would help economic development. While Connecticut would be widened to five lanes from 32nd south to 44th street.

And 44th would also be widened to accommodate growth. Both are heavily traveled now and likely more so later as they both lead to the new Mercy hospital.

Harold McCoy, a citizen’s task force member says, “It’s gonna grow no matter what. Even if Mercy hadn't been there, it was gonna grow. But now it’s gonna grow faster  than it was doing. We anticipate 2000 homes in the next ten years being built in that area,  so its gonna grow.”

The Connecticut street viaduct is a perfect example of a capital improvement sales tax fund project. While there are some single big ticket items on the list there are some street surfacing city wide as well.

Heatherly says, “The committee asked to put money, their specific project, to address ride-ability issues related to our streets. This is where we would go out and specifically address manhole covers, gas valves, water valves and deal with unevenness, things like that.”

 Heatherly  and McCoy say a key part of the proposal is that it is not a tax increase, but a renewal of a tax already  put to use for ten years.

Other projects include widening 20-th street to Country Club road, replacing a Jackson street bridge over Shoal creek -- and a bridge at Turkey creek connecting with Zora.

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