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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • City granted extension in TDD appeal

  • While both the City of Neosho and the Neosho Transportation Development District's Board of Directors have expressed support for replacing the TDD with a community improvement district, an agreement between the two sides has not been reached.
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  • While both the City of Neosho and the Neosho Transportation Development District's Board of Directors have expressed support for replacing the TDD with a community improvement district, an agreement between the two sides has not been reached.
    Meanwhile, the City of Neosho on Monday was granted a one-month extension to file their brief in an appeal in regards to their earlier legal challenge of the TDD.
    The city's July 17 deadline has been pushed until Aug. 16, despite the TDD's filing of a motion in opposition to the extension.
    Richard Davidson, Neosho mayor, said the city requested the extension after recent talks with the TDD to create a CID appeared to be moving forward. The mayor said the city needed more time to put together their brief, after focusing on the TDD negotiations instead of preparing for an appeal.
    "The city has had discussions with the TDD over the last few weeks regarding the potential of converting to a CID," Davidson said. "As long as those discussions are proceeding and that is something that could be done, then the appeal would not be necessary."
    Steve Hays, city attorney, said while both the city and the TDD can agree on the idea of establishing a CID, the specifics of that resolution have not been agreed on.
    "There's talk that both sides would be fine with a CID," Hays said. "The problems lie in what one side believes is necessary to get to the CID and what the other side believes is necessary to get to the CID. So, although we agree on the ultimate outcome, the specifics we're not that close on."
    Hays said the city had hoped they and the TDD could file a joint motion to extend, allowing for more time for the two to work on an out-of-court resolution, though the TDD chose not to join in that motion.
    Ray Stipp, TDD board chairman, said the board supports the CID resolution though they believed a motion to extend was unnecessary and that the resolution could have been reached before the July 17 deadline.
    Stipp said the TDD had been open to the creation of a CID last fall and are still willing to pursue that outcome.
    "We'll do the CID if we can get this thing resolved and we could do that before the deadline of July 17, we could've done that in very short order," Stipp said. "We have offered to do that and are willing to do that, we have always been. We just would like to see the project done."
    Hays said it was the city's belief that there was not enough time before the filing deadline for the two sides to come to an agreement, making the extension necessary.
    He said while the two have not agreed on specifics, another factor making the short period of time difficult is scheduling both the council and board meetings in time.
    Page 2 of 2 - "The boards don't move that fast and more time had to be allocated if both sides were going to be serious about it," Hays said, noting that he believes the CID is an outcome the city will continue to consider. "The city has always been open and even though this has been brought up two or three times, the city has always kept faith that it could be done. I have no reason to believe that the city would not continue to hold that position."
    In the meantime, Stipp said the TDD board is anxious to move forward with the remainder of the planned road improvements.
    While the first of the planned projects, intersection improvements and a traffic signal at Kodiak Road and Highway 60, was completed last month, the remaining projects would be done all at once, Stipp said.
    He said the board hopes for work to begin in the spring, with bids coming in at the first of the year, and engineering beginning sometime before then.
    However, Stipp said work cannot move forward until the TDD and the city reach a resolution.
    "It just delays our ability to get the project bid and hopefully we'd like to be able to start actual construction in the spring of next year," Stipp said. "This calls that all into question now because of the delay in the appellate court considering their appeal."
    The TDD was established in February 2011 and stretches from Waldo Hatler Drive to Industrial Drive and from Kodiak Road to just east of Laramie Lane.
    The planned improvements include the addition of outer roads near Highway 60, as well as intersection improvements.
    A half-cent sales tax has been collected within the district's borders since January 2012 and sunsets after 20 years.
    The planned projects are to be funded by a $2.4 million cost share agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation, and by sales tax revenue, expected to cover the remaining $4.5 million in projects.

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