The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 18, 2012

Joplin council to consider Blue Buffalo tax abatement

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin City Council will be asked tonight to authorize a tax abatement for the Blue Buffalo Co. pet food plant that is being built in the Crossroads Center Business and Distribution Park.

The council also will take up an insurance question posed by the widow of a Joplin police officer.

Blue Buffalo is a 10-year-old company founded by Bill Bishop, who launched the successful SoBe drink line in 1995. He sold that company to PepsiCo in 2001 for $370 million.

The company expects to provide 131 jobs in the pay range of $17 to $18 an hour, or about $36,000 a year, according to city documents. The construction costs of the plant are set at $30 million, and equipment and machinery will cost $59 million.

The Joplin deal calls for the city to grant a full abatement of property taxes for 10 years.

At a groundbreaking ceremony last month, Bishop said Joplin was chosen in part because of the attitude residents showed after the 2011 tornado. Joplin’s location was another factor in the site selection. Company officials have said Joplin is central to routes where their materials are shipped. A planned expansion of a railroad sideyard in the area of Landreth Park by Kansas City Southern Railway Co. is tied to providing transportation to the plant, as is an agreement by the Missouri Department of Transportation to install a new interchange on Interstate 44 to serve the industrial park.

Joplin is not the only entity involved in providing assistance to bring in the plant. The Jasper County Commission last month authorized the issuance of $55 million in industrial revenue development bonds to pay for the acquisition of the plant’s equipment.

The company also could be eligible for economic incentives from the state of Missouri if it meets certain job-creation and investment requirements.

Construction has started, and the plant could be up and running in 2015. It will make up to 30 million pounds of pet food a month.

Insurance issue

The council also will hear from the widow of a Joplin police officer who died eight years ago of duty injuries. She will ask the council to consider adopting a policy that would allow the family of a fallen police officer to have insurance benefits for a year after the officer’s death.

Tracy Nielson Gribben, widow of Tim Nielson, said it would have made a difference for her. Nielson died in 2004 of burns he suffered in an explosion at a Joplin home where he went to check on the well-being of a resident.

After his death, she left her job with the Missouri Department of Social Services in order to stay home with the couple’s daughters to work through the family’s grief. She said she soon realized that she would have to go back to work to get insurance benefits.

“The city took really good care of me and my daughters,” she said. “But having the option of being part of a group insurance plan would have helped. Hopefully no more surviving spouses will face that, but in the event that would happen, I think it would be really good for their peace of mind to have insurance available for that in a time of crisis.”

She said she is not asking that the city pay all the premiums unless there was money available for that.

The city’s finance director, Leslie Jones, said employers are required to make COBRA insurance available for 18 months, though COBRA often is more expensive than employee group benefits. The coverage is provided under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

Gribben said another reason she is asking is as part of a project she is doing to obtain her master’s degree.

“I am in the last year of graduate work on my master’s degree in social work at MSU (Missouri State University),” she said. “One of the goals of the class is to advocate for a community policy change. This is something that has been important to me for a really long time.”

Council meeting

THE JOPLIN CITY COUNCIL meets at 6 p.m. today on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ArtFest.jpg Giant footballs arrive in Pittsburg; organizers seeking more underwriters, artists for event

    Twenty-four giant fiberglass footballs arrived in Pittsburg on Wednesday to officially kick off SEK Art Fest’s second annual public art event.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cancer patient’s drug, probation cases postponed ‘until further notice’

    A Joplin woman who is battling a rare type of cancer has gotten a temporary reprieve in her drug and probation cases so she can focus on her health issues, according to her attorney. Velma Crain, who appeared Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court, was facing the possible revocation of her probation after having been arrested last year on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance.

    April 15, 2014

  • Suspect in assault on officer apprehended in Texas

    The U.S. Marshals Service caught up with a suspect in Texas who was wanted in an assault on a Seneca police officer and alleged probation violations in Arkansas. Cory A. Rantz, 25, is being held in Collin County north of Dallas on warrants issued in Missouri and Arkansas. Federal marshals reportedly located the fugitive at a strip mall in Texas on Monday afternoon and took him into custody.

    April 15, 2014

  • Ex-Jasper teacher’s aide accused of sexual contact with student

    A former teacher’s aide at Jasper High School has been charged with having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student and is being investigated for possible sexual contact with other boys at the school. Janice L. Rusk, 43, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy following investigations by school officials and law enforcement.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Open a beer, chat with Tom, see his exhibit

    I like to think that I would have gotten along with Thomas Hart Benton. Sure, I’ve read that sometimes Tom (I think I can call him Tom) could be grouchy, and if someone said something stupid or acted like a jerk, he didn’t mind telling that person exactly what he thought of him. But hey, I grew up with people like that.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • r041514recycledfashion.jpg Joplin High School students to model ‘recycled’ dresses at fashion show

    Audrey Kaman will walk the runway later this week wearing a dress she designed herself — made out of 250 doilies. “I’d say it’s a fun dress,” the Joplin High School sophomore said. “It’s not really elegant because it’s short, but it’s cute.”

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • Shooter in Joplin murder sentenced to life in prison

    The teen convicted of being the triggerman in the murder of Jacob Wages was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. At a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Circuit Judge Gayle Crane followed a jury’s recommendations in assessing Daniel D. Hartman, 18, two life sentences on convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and 15 years on a conviction for burglary.

    April 15, 2014

  • Interchange construction work near Carterville to create safer off-ramp

    As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures. The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.

    April 15, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract for construction of a new bridge on County Road 48.

    April 15, 2014

  • Neosho Ethics Board calls witnesses in complaint against council members

    City Manager Troy Royer on Monday night described what he said was an assault by City Councilman Steve Hart, and other incidents involving Hart and Councilman David Ruth. His statements were made to the Neosho Ethics Board, which is investigating a complaint filed against Hart and Ruth. Board members had described Royer as their key witness.

    April 15, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

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