The City of Neosho has undergone a green infrastructure study in recent months to determine how the city can best manage storm water.

The City of Neosho has undergone a green infrastructure study in recent months to determine how the city can best manage storm water.

The study, performed by Low Impact Development Center, of Beltsville, Md., was funded by a $30,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.

The city was awarded the grant last summer, and was one of 17 cities nationwide to be selected for the program.
"We're the smallest community they chose," said Neosho's Director of Development Services Dana Daniel.
Daniel said the consulting firm will present the findings from their study in a public meeting set for 9 a.m. April 17 at the Crowder College MARET Center.

Funding from the grant did not go through the city, but instead provided technical assistance to Neosho, in an attempt to outline ways to protect water quality, reduce flooding and determine the best practices for managing rain water.
The purpose of the grant is to identify potential green areas that could be created in the future, as additional green spaces are helpful in absorbing rainwater.

"The more streets, parking and pavement, the more runoff," Daniel said. "The green area can help alleviate flash flooding if it's done right."

While the grant does not provide the city with any funds to carry out the recommendations, Daniel said the study will help the city to move in the right direction.

"It's a building block," Daniel said.

Daniel said the EPA outlined four goals to be fulfilled with the grant, that the city's storm water codes be reviewed, that the city be given recommended areas in the community that could be developed as green infrastructure sites, that the city be provided a set of standard specifications for green infrastructure, and that a presentation be made to the city once the study is completed.

Daniel said one area the city expects suggestions on is the creek bed that runs behind the Neosho High School.
"The water flow can get pretty fast," Daniel said of the creek. "There's areas where the erosion is growing."

He said he expects that the consulting firm will throw out some ideas on how to alleviate the heavy flow in that creek.
City management has worked toward additional green space in Neosho recently, with sites such as the old Benton School site on Park Street, the former Baptist Church site just off the Neosho Square, and the old location of the Frye and Gray Building, on East Spring Street being utilized as city green areas.

The city applied for and received Missouri Department of Transportation Enhancement grants to aid in building sidewalks or trails connecting to two of the three sites.

The proposed project in the green space next to the Neosho Civic was denied the grant.

While it may not have worked for that grant specifically, Daniel said having the green infrastructure study done could aid the city in securing grants in the future.

"Some future grants, if they see you've taken this step, it won't hurt," he said.

The EPA is providing $950,000 nationally to assist in the green infrastructure studies, with a goal of decreasing storm water runoff's pollution of local waters.

"We're very grateful that we got chosen to be part of this," Daniel said. "We've learned a lot and I think it will be beneficial to the city."