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Joplin Residents Want Answers After Money Goes Towards Project Y - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Residents Want Answers After Money Goes Towards Project Yet To Be Approved By City Council

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Joplin, MO -

Some Joplin residents want to know if tax dollars have been misused for street signs.  The street signs help illustrate a proposed new traffic pattern on Main Street that is still pending approval from City Council.

This proposal includes several blocks of Main Street.  Traffic lanes would be renovated into bicycle lanes, reverse angle parking, and bigger sidewalks for restaurants to have outdoor seating.

Joplin businessman Mike Brandon says he's getting a bad picture from the photographs included within this story.

"Looks like they've made a decision to move forward without any input from us," says Brandon.

Brandon owns several buildings along Main Street that house the Ramsey events center, a hair salon, and Instant Karma restaurant, among other businesses.  He opposes the proposal from City Hall that would eliminate one traffic lane in each direction on Main Street, between First and Seventh streets.

"I've been contacted three times by media to tell me the new things that are going on," says Brandon.  "I've been contacted twice from a member of City Council who is working with me.  I've never been contacted by anybody who is actually creating the plan."

Brandon says any elimination of traffic lanes or parking spots in any block of Main Street would have a negative impact on his tenants.

Joplin City Councilman Jim West told us City Council recently tabled this proposed new traffic pattern on Main Street because of opposition from business owners.  West says City Council hasn't even approved a trial run on this proposal.

But a city worker sent us pictures of new street signs for this proposal already made.

Joplin City Manager Sam Anselm wasn't available for an on camera interview, but sent us a statement, saying the signs could be used for other purposes if City Council votes against this new traffic pattern.  But some of the signs would have to be stripped and re-filmed with new lettering. 

Brandon says lack of patience by City officials to see how City Council ends up voting on this issue may end up wasting tax dollars.

"I don't know how that could've possible happened.  I would imagine City Council is going to be furious over this.  I would hope so.  There's somebody in charge who doesn't have the authority to be in charge," says Brandon.

Anselm did not tell us why these signs were made in the first place, without this proposal being approved by City Council.  West says discussions on this proposal have been tabled until this spring.

Statement from Anselm:  "The materials cost us about $950.  The reverse-angle parking signs would be stripped and re-filmed with new lettering if we don't decide to move forward with that idea.  The rest of the signs are usable in other locations."

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