The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 1, 2013

Family Y director expresses concerns about its future if Joplin Commons project goes forward

JOPLIN, Mo. — Cookie Estrada told the Joplin City Council on Monday night that he finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

He wants to support the proposed $40 million Joplin Commons project that is part of a $130 million tornado recovery plan. But, as the chief executive officer of the Joplin Family YMCA, he has to protect the mission and interests of the 125-year-old Joplin institution he runs. That’s why he asked the city to work with the Y and try to incorporate its future into Joplin’s plan.

The Joplin Commons would be a duplication of the services that the Y offers in Joplin as far as fitness and recreation.

“We have to look at that duplication hoping to find a niche to work together so that it doesn’t harm the organizations” like the Y and any others that may be affected by the idea, Estrada told the council. “I’m here to support the Commons, but you have to take care of those entities that have been here for a long time. Collaboration is the key.”

The recovery plan would be funded in large part by $113 million in federal grant money. A public hearing was conducted Monday night on the initial proposal for spending that money, which includes the Joplin Commons. The Commons would include an indoor pool suitable for competition swimming, a fitness center, a senior citizens center, indoor quarters for basketball, volleyball and soccer suitable for tournament play, a Little League complex, and a skate park.

“We have had three meetings with the Y to discuss concerns and how it relates to their plan,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. Those city staff discussions with the Y have included the question of whether there is a way to collaborate on the Commons project. Rohr said the project addresses all needs and wants of the community that have been expressed at a number of public meetings. He said that while he knows that a fitness center would compete with the Y, it is needed to generate revenue to subsidize the indoor pool operations.

“I think there is a possibility that we serve different markets,” Rohr said.

Councilman Jack Golden said he has worked with the Y for years, and that the city continues to need such operations.

Councilman Mike Woolston asked that if the council agreed to move forward with submitting the plan to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which allocated the grant money, there would be a chance to address concerns of groups such as the Y and the Little League.

Council members also spoke about receiving a groundswell of public opposition to a proposal to reconfigure part of East 20th Street into fewer and narrower traffic lanes in order to do streetscaping. Part of the grant money is proposed for construction of that project.

Rohr said at this point the city is presenting a concept, and details of that concept are still to be developed.

City Planner Troy Bolander said a final report on the public input regarding the 20th Street project would be available in September, and that residents are clear that they do not want the traffic capacity of the street reduced.

In other business, about 20 residents of a neighborhood near the old Joplin Stockyards property on Newman Road opposed or expressed concerns about rezoning part of that land for construction of apartments.

The developer, in response, told the council that he had redrawn the plans to ensure that a buffer of trees and natural growth 40 feet wide would remain between the apartment buildings and the single-family homes south of the property.

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scearce won an agreement to change the zoning to multifamily residential rather than commercial and to make it a planned district so that building plans would have to be approved by the city in order to protect the neighborhood buffer.

The council approved the sale of $13 million in bonds from the new tax increment financing district created for tornado recovery. Leslie Haase, the city finance director, said $5 million of that would be used to pay the city’s matching share for the construction of a new Joplin Public Library project at 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue. The bonds also would repay an $8 million loan obtained for the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to buy land for some of the projects, including the library, advanced by the contracted master developer.

The council also:

• Approved rezoning and the vacation of Old Main Street Road at 32nd Street for construction of a new CVS Pharmacy.

• Agreed to vacate old plats for 34th Street and Wisconsin Avenue in the Park Plaza Mobile Home Estates.

• Gave informal consent to proceed with the possibility of putting a sales use tax on the November ballot to replace a city sales tax that had been collected on vehicle sales and other large purchases made out of state before the Missouri Supreme Court invalidated that type of tax by cities and counties.

Tie vote

THE CITY COUNCIL TIED 4-4 in an informal vote on whether to institute a finance committee to advise the council. Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg was absent. The matter will be taken up again when all council members are present, the panel decided.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter