The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 7, 2012

Our View: Setting a new course

Up until now, Joplin has focused most of its efforts on recovery from the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Mountains of debris — ruined homes, vehicles, businesses — have been hauled away. Lots have been scraped clean. Rebuilding is well under way. As a city, Joplin can be nothing but proud of the way it has responded and grateful to those who have reached out their hands our way.

Now, Joplin is about to take on a new challenge — one that could be the most difficult step yet toward trying to right the horrible damage caused by the EF-5 tornado.

Residents will be asked to look at Joplin in a new light.

At 5:45 p.m. Monday, proposals for $800 million in projects ranging from housing construction to a performing arts complex will be outlined by the Joplin City Council in a session at City Hall.

The plans will be presented by David Wallace of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, of Sugar Land, Texas, a firm that has been hired by the city to serve as the master developer.

The firm’s vision began with ideas that came from Joplin residents. From parks to trails, neighborhood retail centers to mixed-use developments, the initial ideas of a future Joplin were generated from suggestions made by those who live here.

We view this as one of the most important meetings in Joplin’s history because it will have a profound effect on the future.

Now is not the time to take a backseat.

There are two ways you can participate on Monday. You can attend in person, or you may choose to watch it from your living room. Missouri Southern State University’s station KGCS-TV will broadcast the meeting live and will offer a rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. That’s digital channel 22. If you’re a cable or dish subscriber, you may want to check in advance to make sure you can find it.

It’s an exciting time to live in Joplin.

Let’s make sure it’s an exciting place to live 50 years from now.

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