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Dying fish at construction site in Webb City raise concern - KOAM TV 7

Dying fish at construction site in Webb City raise concern

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Dying fish at a construction project underway at King Jack Park in Webb City raise some environmental concerns.

Some residents spent the weekend trying to save live fish from the site.

"You can just walk down there and smell it," said Matt Lankford, Webb City resident.  "It's bad."

Lankford says he noticed many dead fish in the pond on Friday, but some were still alive, so he made it his mission to save hundreds of them.

"I was thinking about those other fish saying 'what about me?,' but I did all I could," Lankford said.

City officials say crews were out last week working to save as many fish as possible prior to construction, in an area they say has been growing increasingly shallow each year.

"A couple weeks ago, we noticed that the water level was dangerously low for aquatic life," said Carl Francis, City Manager, Webb City.  "We were noticing fish dying already."

Francis says Environmental Protection Agency contractors are working at the site, at no cost to the city of Webb City.

The dirt dug from the pond, will be used to fill in a pit area across the park to add an additional 20 acres of land.

Francis says the deeper pond will not only be a more viable location for aquatic life, but will also help retain storm water in high water events.

"Here in Webb City, we've worked hard to try to prevent storm water runoff damage to private property and this is one of the things that will help," he said.

Francis says there has been a recurring problem with the pond drying out every summer.

"We really did not want to lose any fish and we tried hard not to, but in order to make it a better place for the future, that can hold water, this pond needed to be dug out," Francis said.

City crews were out again this morning looking for live fish.

Officials say they are grateful for citizens like Lankford who helped out.

"We appreciate anybody that wanted to help and actually caught some fish and put them in other ponds," Francis said.

"It's heartbreaking, it really is," Lankford said.  "I just wanted to do what I could to help."

City officials say crews are expected to finish work at the pond within the next couple weeks.
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