By Jeff Wells

Globe Staff Writer

Airport Drive's growth and governmental regulations are prompting village officials to mull over the future.

The Board of Trustees of the village, which is between Joplin and Carl Junction, has money for street projects, but with new federal requirements for storm-water drainage looming, Mark Rains, chairman of the board, says officials need to weigh how street projects will influence flood control.

"It's a hand-in-hand issue," he said Thursday night.

Rains and other village officials met with a developer and business owner during a town meeting designed to gather residents' opinions on various options for street and storm-water projects.

The board also discussed the results of a survey sent to residents in October. The village asked residents whether they would like to see the streets widened, curbed and guttered, resurfaced with asphalt, or chipped and sealed, and whether they would like to see street entrances widened.

Residents, according to the survey, are evenly split on whether to widen the streets. Most did not favor curbs and gutters. "We think what's unique is the streets are not curbed or guttered, makes it more quaint," one resident wrote.

At least two residents said Highway 171 needs to be widened to the west of Stone's Corner, which is the intersection with North Main Street Road, or Highway 43. The Missouri Department of Transportation controls the stretch. Local MoDOT officials told Rains that widening the road is not part of their current plans.

Among the top priorities, Rains said, will be widening Central Street near a day-care operation, and Elm Street behind Vatterott College.

Most of the respondents to the survey are longtime residents. Frances Haverly, the village clerk, said she sent out surveys to 300 homes but received responses from only a small fraction of those. Officials said the low response rate may be attributed to the survey questions being based on village streets, while many residents live on state highways or county roads.

Half of the 24 residents who responded to the survey are over 65. All respondents said they are over 30. Eighty percent of the respondents said they have lived in the village for more than 10 years.

More homes are being built in the Fountain Estates subdivision. The first two phases, when complete, will add 66 homes to the village. A new retail center is being built at Stone's Corner, and Haverly said other housing developers have requested information about the village.

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