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City leaders explore new proposal for the St. Joseph Riverfront

St. Joseph's Riverfront has been a focal point of discussion for city leaders over the last several years and on Wednesday night, a plan was proposed with a budget of $92.1 million.

Posted: Mar 7, 2019 9:50 AM
Updated: Mar 11, 2019 3:58 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— St. Joseph's Riverfront has been a focal point of discussion for city leaders over the last several years and on Wednesday night, a plan was proposed with a budget of $92.1 million. 

"The city can initiate and create a blueprint for the years to come as what projects we want to tackle first and the cost associated with," said Clint Thompson, Planning and Community Development Director for the City of St. Joseph. 

City leaders are focused on the land along the Missouri River that continues to age, but with this proposed plan, it gives city leaders an idea of what could be done along the Riverfront. 

The proposal includes several different activities and scenery changes to the Riverfront, but would also include events downtown that would draw people to the area. 

Along with some big ideas like RV parks and a marina, there are other suggestions such as more lights, streets, utilities, and zoning.  

"That's a big part of the implementation phase—how do we pay for what everybody is now excited about and see what our Riverfront can become," Thompson said. 

The presented proposal had its critics and fans.

"I thought the proposal was incredible and probably 20 years worth of plans that we've had for the Riverfront," said Marci Bennett, Executive Director of the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau. "I thought they took a very creative look at it and they put in steps."

Others were concerned with some of the features—private property rights or the overall costs—while asking for time to think it over, but fans of the plan said it is time to act. 

"It would be awesome," Bennett said. "We need it."

The next step is for city leaders to determine how and if they want to move forward with the proposed plan. 

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A strong cold front has made its way into northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas bringing much cooler air and a lot of clouds across the area. Friday night and Saturday the cold air will continue to be in place with daytime highs only reaching into the 40's. As the weekend continues we will see increasing chances for rain and maybe some snow. A cold start to the beginning of next week with highs only in the 30's and 40's.
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