NEOSHO, Mo. — Traffic issues throughout town will get a special eye from the Neosho City Council over the next few weeks.

The panel voted 4-0 Tuesday night to place a four-way stop at the intersection of Hill and High streets. The stop was expanded after a neighboring resident's request, interim Chief Jason Baird said.

"The resident came on May 11 to our traffic commission meeting and provided a bunch of photographs," Baird said. "We all agreed unanimously to request a four-way stop there."

Baird said the intersection has seen 27 accidents over the last 20 years.

City Manager David Kennedy said that city staff will soon set up new signs with flashing lights to let drivers know about the change.

Other changes may be coming. In a separate agenda item, other traffic situations were discussed. Mayor Pro Tem Carmin Allen said constituents have complained about drivers traveling at high speeds along Neosho Boulevard, South Street, Oak Ridge Drive and others.

Allen said during the meeting that the city should find a way to patrol those more but acknowledged the police department is working with a shortage of officers.

In other meeting business:

• The council will begin looking at code enforcement issues, including tweaking ordinances dealing with messy, cluttered yards and overgrown grass.

Allen said that the city's ordinance calling for grass to be no more than 12 inches high were set during days when people had horses to feed.

"I found out most of our ordinances were set in 1924," Allen said. "We need to get those up to date. There's not a lot our enforcement officer can do right now."

One possibility would be reducing the allowed height of grass from 12 to 8 inches. Another possibility would be altering the city's method of enforcement. Instead of issuing a citation and starting a court case that could take anywhere from a week to 30 days, the city could switch to a system of mowing an out-of-compliance lawn and then placing a lien on the property for the cost.

Options will be discussed during a future meeting of the council.

• A fireworks show planned to be part of the now-canceled Celebrate Neosho event has been changed to allow more people in the city to view it.

Last year the council selected Riverside Fireworks to produce the fireworks show. Officials with Riverside presented two options: a show that featured more ground effects for people at Morse Park and a show shot from a higher elevation for better visibility throughout the town.

In December, the council selected the first option. On Tuesday, it shifted to the second option in order to accommodate the lack of an event at the park and people practicing social distancing.

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.

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