NEOSHO, Mo. — The city of Neosho has begun steps to obtaining a federal grant to address key flooding issues affecting residential neighborhoods.

The city on Wednesday announced two public meetings for collecting input from residents about the projects. Both meetings are set for Oct. 14 at the Neosho Municipal Auditorium, located at 109 W. Main St.:

• At 5:30 a meeting will be held to detail a plan for stormwater mitigation along Stratford and Freeman Roads (details below).

• At 7:30 p.m. a second meeting will be held in conjunction with the Harry S Truman Coordinating Council to form a committee tasked with developing pre- and post-disaster recovery plans.

On Thursday night, the City Council met in a special session and reviewed an engineering report from Allgeier Martin and Associates detailing several areas that experience flooding. The city is proceeding with three of the five projects:

• Along Stratford Place from Flower Box Lane to Freeman Road. The project calls for installation of a stormwater system to handle drainage from the south and is considered the top priority of the three. Estimated cost: About $1.1 million.

• A stretch along Hearrell Avenue from the alley of South Street north then east to the end of a Freeman Road project. The project calls for installation of stormwater piping and inlets. Estimated cost: About $2.5 million

• A stretch along Hatchery Branch between South and Park streets. This project, which is expected to alleviate flooding along Lafayette Street, calls for a drainage ditch. Estimated cost: about $3.1 million.

Mayor Carmin Allen said these three projects received most of the council's attention because of the effect on residential neighborhoods.

"Those projects affect more people dealing with flooding," Allen said. "We're hoping to get grant money to help divert water from all these homes.

Neosho has dealt with two significant flooding spells since 2017, both from periods of heavy rainfall and both in many of the same areas. The floods happened in April 2017 and June 2019.

To help with the about $6.7 million in construction, the city hopes to receive up to $2.5 million from a federal Community Development Block Grant managed by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. State officials in January held a public meeting explaining how $41 million in CDBG grants were available for disaster mitigation projects across the state.

The grant is similar to one the city pursued for residential buyouts. The City Council in April eventually rejected participation in that grant upon learning it would receive far less money than originally hoped.

The grant procedure will take some time.

Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.