The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 1, 2013

Neosho examining possibility of sports complex

NEOSHO, Mo. — City officials are exploring the possibility of establishing a sports complex on the unused west side of the Neosho Golf Course.

The city is looking at private funding sources, including donations and grants, to pay for the project, if possible.

The property became available in 2011 after the city closed nine holes of the 27-hole golf course as a cost-saving measure.

Conceptual drawings of a possible sports complex were produced as part of a needs assessment study for the city’s park and athletic programs.

The drawings show four baseball fields, four softball fields and three multipurpose fields suitable for soccer, football or other sports. The complex also would have a golf driving range. The old cart path for the former course, now used as a public walking trail, would continue to be available to residents. Parking and public restrooms also are included in the conceptual drawings.

According to a city news release, a sports complex would enhance the quality of life for Neosho residents and attract more commercial development, and it also could result in more retail and restaurant options.

The location also has good access to Interstate 49 and U.S. Highway 60.

Youth and adult sports in Neosho now are limited to the ball fields in Morse Park, which are in a flood plain and sometimes inaccessible, and are subject to seasonal damage. There is no room there for future growth.

Mayor Richard Davidson said Land 3 Studio, of Kansas City, Kan., evaluated how Neosho’s parks and athletic fields compare with those around the region. It also asked residents’ opinions about what Neosho should offer residents.

“They brought us what they saw would fit the needs of Neosho,” Davidson said of the drawings.

He said the next step would be an economic impact study.

“We need a better understanding of how this could be more than a sports complex,” Davidson said. He said proposed Transportation Development District projects on the south side of the land could assist in commercial and retail development.

Davidson said one benefit of the idea is that the city already owns the land.

He said no cost estimates or time frames have been established.

“The economic impact study will determine if we move forward,” Davidson said.



Contract

THE CITY HAS PAID Land 3 Studio, of Kansas City, Kan., $7,350 for the needs assessment study.

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