The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 15, 2012

Neosho council slates work session, hopes for TDD board participation

By Roger McKinney
news@joplinglobe.com

NEOSHO, Mo. — A meeting tonight described as a work session of the Neosho City Council has been scheduled with the idea that a quorum of the Neosho Transportation Development District board may attend.

The 6 p.m. meeting is set for the Civic Center, 109 W. Main St. The TDD board is to meet before the city meeting, at 4 p.m., said Chairman Jim Cummins.

A conference call among Cummins, Mayor Richard Davidson and the attorneys for both entities had been scheduled for Monday, but that was rescheduled to Wednesday because of scheduling conflicts.

An Oct. 29 court hearing date is looming. It was scheduled to address a legal petition filed by the city challenging the formation of the TDD. It contends that because the district’s boundaries were established to not include any residential property, there were no resident owners qualified to vote in the election that formed the district.

Cummins, in a Sept. 20 letter to Kevin Keith, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, appears to acknowledge the city’s argument, but he wrote that there probably was a legal solution.

The city has proposed a community improvement district to replace the TDD, which the TDD board has rejected. The TDD board has proposed a joint city and Newton County TDD, which the city attorney has rejected.

Davidson, in an email to the Globe, wrote that Cummins seemed hopeful that a quorum of the TDD board would attend tonight’s work session.

Cummins on Monday morning said he was uncertain about how many board members would attend.

“I think we’ll have representation there,” he said by phone.

He was asked what he thought could be accomplished during an hourlong session.

“We won’t be presenting anything new,” he said. “We’ll each be presenting the options that are available to us. We’re hoping we’re getting close to something that will fix it for everybody.”

Cummins said regardless of the outcome, the meeting will be beneficial.

“What I believe the one-hour work session will do is maybe provide some direction for the attorneys to hammer out the details of an agreement to where we need to be,” he said.



Background

THE NEOSHO TDD began collecting a half-cent sales tax in January to pay for $4.5 million in improvements along U.S. Highway 60, an area that includes several retail businesses. The Missouri Department of Transportation has pledged $2.4 million toward the projects.