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City Green Lights Turning A 'Drive Way' Into East 15th Street - KOAM TV 7

City Green Lights Turning A 'Drive Way' Into East 15th Street

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     A new road project has been green lighted by Joplin City Council.
     It involves a road that never was...but is..and will now be real.
1993...Walmart, moved back -- and left this.
    A sprawling parking lot, with a 'path' to the new store.
    After Eastgate closed, the blacktop became a 'free for all' for drivers.
Angie Harness: "I've come through here on several occasions and you will have cars that will just kinda cross over in front each other because there's no lines, there's no sidewalks, which could cause an accident."
    A little over a decade ago, Joplin city officials began discussing ways to fix this.
    But, a developer that was going to 'finish' this stretch of 15th street, fell through, leaving the city scrambling for options and shoppers scrambling for another way out.
Harness: "Normally, I try not to come through this street I will come in a different way just because you don't know which ways the cars will be coming from."
    Leslie Haase presented four options to the council at Monday's meeting -- one was basically "do nothing."
    The other three involved some cash.
    To the tune of about $2 million dollars.
Leslie Haase: "It won't be $2 million dollars all at once because you do your right of way, you do your utility relocation, and then finally you get to construction."
    The council chose to pursue 'Option B' which would result in the city paying for the project...
Haase: "Right now we have the money in reserves and we're comfortable using that money and getting it back from the TIF."
    The other options would have had the TIF District front the money, and the city repaying it over the course of a few years at 7% interest.
    From here, the plan will be formally drawn up which will take about a year, then presented to council for approval sometime in 2019.
         City officials hope to begin the work by 2020.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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