The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 3, 2012

Vacating of easements requested for hospital, elementary school

JOPLIN, Mo. — Proposals to vacate utility easements for construction of the new Mercy Hospital Joplin and a new Irving Elementary School will go before the Joplin City Council tonight.

Also proposed is a request for a special-use permit for a recycling center that has attracted opposition from neighborhood residents.

Among land-use requests to be the subject of public hearings before the council is a proposal on behalf of Sisters of Mercy Health System to vacate the right-of-way and utility easements south of Interstate 44 and north of 50th Street, east of Virginia Avenue and west of Indiana Avenue. Mercy is building its new hospital at 50th Street and Hearnes Boulevard.

A spokesman for the hospital told the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission that the request was delayed when some homeowners negotiated additional time before moving after Mercy had purchased their properties. He said the hospital now is asking for vacation of all the easements within the approximately 100 acres of property that has been assembled for building a hospital to replace St. John’s Regional Medical Center, which was destroyed by the tornado on May 22, 2011.

The commission recommended approval of the request, along with vacation of a sewer easement that is being sought by the Joplin School District. The vacation, at the northeast corner of Old 32nd Street and McClelland Boulevard, includes land that will be used for a new Irving Elementary School. The former Irving Elementary also was a loss in the tornado, and Mercy has donated land on the former St. John’s campus for the new school.

The zoning commission, by a unanimous vote, recommended denial of a permanent special-use permit sought by USA Metal Recycling for a solid-waste collection and processing operation at 2000 W. Seventh St. Owners of the business said a permanent permit would allow the operation to be expanded, but the commission heard from nearly a dozen residents who complained about noise, dust and traffic problems from the existing business.

In other business, the council will review a site plan for a new Taco Bell restaurant at 2601 S. Main St. to replace the one leveled by the tornado.


A PRESENTATION on the city’s new website is scheduled for the council meeting, set for 6 p.m. today in council chambers at Joplin City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

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