Housing projects were prominent on the agenda at the Neosho City Council meeting this week. The council voted to approve Bill 2019-949, a rezoning request by Schuber Mitchell Homes. They requested zoning changes on three tracts of land from R2 to R1 and two tracts from C1 Commercial to R1 residential on property located on Hale McGinty Drive. The change was recommended by Planning and Zoning after a hearing on July 9. Schuber Mitchell plans to build single family homes on the sites.

A request from Affordable Homes Development, Inc. was also made by property owners Joe and Marie Carmichael, who appeared before the council in a follow-up to a letter. Their projects are assured by the allocation of tax credits and they sought a letter of approval for the project from the city. Oak Par Place would be a 39 unit apartment home complex with 11 three bedroom, two bath units, 24 two bedroom, two bath units and four one-bedroom, one bath homes. Two to four of the units will be handicapped accessible including roll-in showers. Plans also call for a green space to be located behind the development that will include play equipment, barbecue grills, and picnic tables. In response to a question regarding whether or native trees would be used from Councilwoman Angela Thomas, Joe Carmichael responded that that they would use primarily trees native to Missouri. The council voted to provide a letter of approval for the development, which will be located on Garrow Boulevard, south of the Neosho Municipal Golf Course. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in April 2020 and to take approximately a year to complete.

"I am really impressed with your concepts," Mayor Doubek said. With the upcoming flood zone buyout, Neosho has a need for additional housing in the city.

The city property tax for 2019 was set after public hearing and a first reading of the bill followed by a second and third reading under emergency measure. The tax bill passed unanimously and lowers the rate for local residents.

"We're giving everybody a tax break, plain and simple," Councilman Carmin Allen said.

After local resident Leatta Workman approached the council earlier in August with issues regarding trash collection in the city, representatives of WCA, the contracted trash service, appeared before council to answer questions and address the issues. Numerous complaints have been received by city hall regarding trash collection. One of the issues resolved was the collection of one large or bulk item per week. Customers are allowed one such item per week as long as it is bagged or boxed and doesn't exceed 50 pounds. Complaints that items were left behind had been made but WCA clarified that bulk items can be picked up on Tuesdays only, with prior notice from customer to their company. WCA also plans to work with the city in placing contact information on the city's website.

With the resignation of former city manager Leland Butcher, a new Big Spring CID board member had to be appointed to fill the vacancy left by Butcher. The council voted to appoint interim city manager and Neosho Police Chief to the seat.

The Neosho City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. in council chambers, located at Neosho City Hall, southeast corner of the square in downtown Neosho.