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Grand Falls Project in Joplin Under Microscope from City Council and Residents Alike

The 1.2-mile trail and parking lot has been a long time coming. Funding for the project is from the ½ cent stormwater sales tax that Joplin residents approved in 2011, before the tornado that destroyed ⅓ of the city. Over a year ago, in June of 2022 the city council voted to advance the project.

Capital Improvement projects aren’t as flashy as some of the topics that the Joplin City Council is briefed on or discusses but in many cases they are the bedrock that everyday society operates on or over.

KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

It’s easy to overlook the bi-weekly informal portion of theJoplin City Council meetings that start 45 minutes ahead of the formal position at 6 pm.

In many cases, the informal portion is like a work session where city counselors are briefed often by city staff about the nuts and bolts of maintaining the city of Joplin.

That was exactly the case last night as counselors, back in the chamber after last Monday's work session, were updated on the long list of Capital Improvement Projects that are in one of the phases of completion.

One of the most scrutinized current projects is the Grand Falls Trailin south Joplin that’s estimated to cost 1.3 million dollars to complete. Dr. Mark Farnham shared his thoughts after being updated on the status of the project last night.

“So the Grand Falls Project. Inter-Department communication would be appreciated on that for signage. I get lots of comments about this being the best natural attraction in Joplin, but no signage, and nobody knows how to get there.”

City officials replied that the city's tourism department is working on Wayfair signs to inform visitors about the new trail although a cost or a timeline was not provided.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch krps.org to an NPR style news and information website.
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