At this week's Neosho City Council meeting, the proposed bike trails to be built in Morse Park drew one step closer to reality. After learning that a previous bid was incomplete, the city reopened the bidding process. Park Superintendent Clint Dalbom brought a new bid to the council for approval from Rogue Trails, Rogers, AR.

The council plans to accept the bid to construct the bike trail in the amount of $265,152. That bid covers the construction of five miles of trail and a bicycle playground. Original plans called for a 3/4 mile skills loop that would include several ramps but for now, that's off the table. Rogue Trails bid $28,260 for that portion of the trail.

The city had budgeted $185,200 for the bike trail but plans to bridge the gap with the use of a $45,000 trust fund left to the city specifically for park improvements. The skills loop can be added at a later date, with council approval. The original plan placed the skills loop in the flood plain near Hickory Creek, which travels through Morse Park. The skills loop could possibly be funded at a future date with donations or charitable efforts. A second phase of the bike trail already calls for future expansion of an additional five miles and if that is built, the skills loop could be part of the plan.

The council will approval the final bid at an upcoming meeting.

In other business, members of a new board to oversee IOOF Cemetery were named. Members are Karen Love and James Carter, three year terms. Paul Richardson and Michelle Smith will serve two-year terms. Donna Greer was named as the board representative of the Neosho-Newton County Library for a one-year term.

Inquiries from the public about buying back unused plots at the cemetery prompted the council to suggest individuals sell the plots on their own recognizance.

The city became responsible for the cemetery after it fell into receivership late last year. A case is pending into the investigation of $18,901.02 in missing funds but charges have not yet been filed.

Neosho Mayor William J. Doubek read a proclamation recognizing Flat Branch Loans as the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce March Business of the Month.

Discussion over concession stands located at the ball fields in Morse Park revealed that the South School PTO would like to take over the stands this season. A group from the Goodman Elementary School had operated the stands for the past few years but now that the new Goodman Elementary is open, they no longer wish to work the concession stands. A possibility that the newly organized Friends of the Parks group might also utilize concession stands to raise funds for park projects was discussed. A final decision will be made at a future time.

KPM, an accounting firm based in Springfield, MO, gave the city a clean financial report for Fiscal Year 2019.

The Neosho City Council will meet in regular session on Tuesday, March 17 at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Neosho City Hall, southeast corner of the historic downtown Square.