The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

March 25, 2013

Sunday Forum: Progress after the storm

— On Jan. 19, 2012, a citizen plan to guide the post-tornado rebuilding of Joplin and Duquesne was endorsed in an historic meeting at Missouri Southern State University.

The Joplin City Council, the Duquesne Board of Aldermen, the Joplin School Board, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and the board of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, also known as CART, put the plan into motion.

Hundreds of citizens came to open meetings and put their ideas on sticky notes and then onto easels to help create the plan. The recovery team received more than 1,500 distinct pieces of input from the community.

So where does Joplin stand 14 months after adopting those recommendations?

“I feel really good about the progress one year later,’’ said Jane Cage, chairwoman of CART. “We are certainly not complete, but we are making progress on some of the highest priorities I want to see us make. What we have done in the past year is lay the groundwork for objectives to be completed.’’

A key recommendation that has been implemented is the hiring of the master developer, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners. Cage said, “It took time to lay the groundwork for that foundation. Think about all of the pieces of the puzzle it took to get that lined out. We are doing well now. We can expect to see a lot of progress in that area now.’’

Another CART recommendation that is gaining momentum is the East 20th Street streetscaping design project. A consulting firm has been hired with grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The firm’s design should be ready in June.

“The idea is to turn 20th Street into a more pleasing streetscape for bicyclists and pedestrians,’’ she said. “The citizens said they wanted 20th Street to have a different look.’’

Another element on the economic development side is the comprehensive plan the city passed in 2012 with new design standards.

The plan put together by the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team identified concepts new to Joplin in terms of housing and commercial development and redefining land uses in certain locations. It has given the city a guidebook for redevelopment.

Those guidelines have been added to the city’s comprehensive development plan, and the accompanying zoning changes will encourage their use in building a more attractive city that melds commercial development with surrounding neighborhoods.

The standards will encourage developers to blend their buildings with styles that suit the surrounding neighborhoods, call for the use of durable building materials, such as masonry rather than vinyl siding, and set out suggestions for landscaping and parking.

People asked for more of a mix in neighborhoods, with pockets of retail businesses available for easy access to stores that provide for everyday needs. They also asked for more public transportation, sidewalks, and walking and biking trails. More green spaces, enlarged parks and systems for recycling also were favored.

“With this report, we felt it is our duty to report back to the citizens about where we are on their plan,’’ Cage said. “I think we are being honest about where we are. Sometimes one domino has to fall before the next one can fall.’’

Cage said the CART plan sets the model for community engagement.

“This was really the first time in a long time that citizens gave direct input about what was important to them. There’s no one better to do that than the people who live here.’’

A progress report, released on March 25, she said, will become a yearly item for CART.

“It’s CART’s responsibility to be an advocate and guardian of the plan. What the people said they wanted is important.’’

Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Lone holdout

    Missouri continues to be the only state in the United States that won’t allow a prescription drug database to be established.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anson Burlingame, guest columnist: Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years

    Does anyone recall the major economic argument during the 2000 presidential campaign between George Bush and Al Gore?

    July 22, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Sports