The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 1, 2013

Joplin City Council set to consider airport leases

Local Civil Air Patrol regains meeting space

By Debby Woodin
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin’s Civil Air Patrol will have a permanent home again if the City Council gives its approval tonight to leases for space at the old airport terminal.

Another lease under consideration would allow for an expansion of Alpha Air, one of the airport’s two commercial fixed-base operators that service aircraft.

The council last year approved a $175,000 project to renovate the roof, floors and lighting in the old terminal building so that it could be leased for use.

Because of the work, the Joplin squadron of the Civil Air Patrol was asked to move out of the terminal, where it had held its meetings and training sessions for decades. The unit has been serving in Joplin since 1942, and in its early years it owned its own land and hangar on airport grounds. The group sold the land to the city in the late 1950s with the agreement that it receive free meeting space at the airport.

Representatives of the patrol — the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force — expressed concerns to the council in December that it could no longer operate from the terminal. City Manager Mark Rohr said then that there had been a misunderstanding, and he instructed the city staff to provide a place for the squadron.

Airport manager Steve Stockam said Friday that the patrol has been allowed to move back into the terminal. Temporary meeting space the unit had been using downtown had to be vacated by Tuesday.

“They were up against a deadline and needed somewhere to go, and we felt confident from our past discussions with the City Council in letting them go back,” Stockam said.

Alpha Air has been in business a year and already has outgrown the space it leased at the airport, so it will occupy one section of the former terminal, Stockam said.

Four public hearings also are scheduled for tonight. The topics are:

• A request for a special-use permit for South Joplin Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1901 S. Pearl Ave., to allow the church to house tornado recovery volunteers.

• A request for a special-use permit for Four State Homes to build a parking lot for a new retail center at 3027 S. Main St.

• A request to vacate an alley and utility easement at Eastmorland Elementary School, 1131 S. Highview Ave.

• A request to vacate an alley at the reconstructed site of Taco Bell, 2601 S. Main St.

In other business, the council will be asked to approve an agreement with Tri-State Engineering for engineering and design services on a project planned on 20th Street as part of the city’s recent federal highway grant funding. The project will involve installing sidewalks and replacing trolley stops on 20th Street from Range Line Road to Campbell Parkway. The contract amount for the design work is $195,857.

Additionally, the council will be asked to authorize the purchase of easements or rights of way from 17 properties on Maiden Lane, Schifferdecker Avenue and 26th Street for street widening projects.

Want to go?

The Joplin City Council meets at 6 p.m. today on the fifth floor at City Hall, 602 S. Main St.