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Monett finding new ways to combat flooding downtown; dog park among plans in the works

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) - When it rains, it pours. And if you’re in downtown Monett, it floods, making it challenging to attract people to find things to do downtown.

Monett Main Street board members are creating community spaces to address that problem.

“For those who know anything about Monett, know that downtown floods,” said Monett Main Street Officer Jeff Meredith.

“I’ve lived in Monett my whole life, and this has been a flooding area my whole life,” said Monett Main Street board member Erin Carnes.

In 2018, Monett received a FEMA grant to help with the flooding problem. The grant allowed the city to demolish buildings damaged by floodwaters.

Kelly Creek overflows during severe weather, flooding Broadway and Front Street in downtown Monett. This makes it challenging to provide amenities that can withstand flooding.

“We don’t believe that this large tract of land should be unusable just because it’s in a flood plain. So as things are developed, we think about it and think about what’s next.... how do we do so within the flood plain,” said Meredith.

“One of our biggest goals in this is to use this flood plain area as something positive for the community. So since it’s in a flood plain, we obviously won’t be building new buildings here. But we don’t want it just to be unused green space,” said Carnes.

Instead, Monett Main Street has added a play park, pavilion, splash pad, and coming soon... a dog park. All can withstand the flooding.

“I think it’s a great thing Monett doesn’t have anything like that. Nowhere around here has anything like that, and I think Monett is obviously a dog-loving community, so it’s a great opportunity,” said Monett resident Rachel Mareth.

The dog park takes the place of an old garment factory and is about the size of a football field. The park will be separated into two spaces, one for big dogs and one for small dogs.

“For us to be able to come in here and make something that’s usable for the community, draw new members into the community and support the community members we already have, that’s really the goal of this whole project,” said Carnes.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic about it. There seems to be a lot of community support and just another great amenity downtown,” said Monett Main Street board member Thadd Hood.

The dog park is set to break ground later this year.

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