Reelected Webb City council members Jim Dawson, Jerry Fisher, Alisa Barroeta and Ray Edwards repeat the oath of office Monday while being sworn in by City Clerk Kim DeMoss.

Council supports grant request to extend Frisco Trail toward Oronogo

Bob Foos

The Webb City Council on Monday renewed its support of the Joplin Trails Coalition grant application to build a walking trail from Stadium Drive through a portion of the Cardinal Valley Habitat to the intersection of North Madison Street (County Road 230) and Hawthorne Road.

“This is going to be on your land so we need your support,” said Bob Herbst, president of the coalition.

After exploring several options, he said it will be best to follow the old Frisco Railroad trackbed through the habitat, which is owned by the city. The trail will start north of Webb City Middle School.

The grant being sought is from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Herbst also shared a proposed map for a second phase that will continue the trail on the west side of County Road 230 to Center Creek. That point will be 1 1/4 mile from the Ruby Jack trailhead on North Grant Street in Oronogo.

Both phases are a continuation of the Frisco Greenway, which links Joplin and Webb City.

Eventually, Herbst said the goal is to connect the Frisco Greenway Trail to the Ruby Jack Trail in Oronogo. The Ruby Jack Trail stretches from Carthage through Oronogo to Carl Junction and the Kansas state line.

Once the two trails are connected, Herbst said Jasper County will be the only county in the state to have its four major cities (Joplin, Webb City, Carthage and Carl Junction) connected by trails.

Since the coalition has recently converted from a totally volunteer organization to having one paid position, Herbst said cities benefiting from the trails are asked to become coalition members. The top level of membership requires a $5,000 annual payment. A decision on that will be delayed until Herbst returns with a proposal.

Herbst said the coalition hopes to know by June if it’s grant application for the first phase is approved. If it is, he said construction could begin as soon as February 2025.

City Administrator Carl Francis said the city is prepared to provide an in-kind contribution toward the grant match by helping with construction.

Reelected council members retake the oath

Four of the council members, with a total 57 years of experience, began new two-year terms as they were sworn in by City Clerk Kim DeMoss.

All four were unopposed on the April 2 ballot.

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale thanked them individually for running again. “We need experience – as well as new members,” he said.

The re-elected council members and the number of years they’ve served are: Ray Edwards (1st Ward) 17; Alisa Barroeta (2nd Ward) 8; Jerry Fisher (3rd Ward) 22, and Jim Dawson (4th Ward) 17.

The other four council members, with one year of their terms left, are: Andy Queen (1st Ward), Gina Monson (2nd Ward), Brad Baker (3rd Ward) and Debbie Darby (4th Ward).

• The council approved repairing the roof of the operation and maintenance building (former fire station) at 110 E. Church St. CL Roofing’s low bid of $27,150 was accepted.

• The location of the new recreation facility has changed. It’s now going to be south of the Mining Days Building within King Jack Park. Orange pylons, where the soil was tested, are currently marking the location.