The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 6, 2013

Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Mark your calendar for these Pittsburg sessions

PITTSBURG, Kan. —  I was going to write about a great Christmas present I received that everyone ought to have in the home, and then I was going to write about a unique marriage proposal.

Instead, I postponed both topics in favor of sharing what is on the city calendar for the coming weeks.

It will affect everyone.

First, at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Beard-Shanks Law Enforcement Center, the City Commission will discuss Imagine Pittsburg 2030 in a special study session that is open to the public. Started in the fall of 2011, the project has become more tangible in recent months.

President Blake Benson of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce shared an 11-page outline of the plan with me on Friday. It includes four areas of focus with specific actions: housing, economic development, infrastructure and public wellness.

In the area of housing, for example, the task force calls for improving the community’s appearance by addressing dilapidated and condemned structures; by adopting and implementing the International Property Maintenance Code for the city; by providing resources and incentives for property owners to maintain safe, attractive properties; and by developing a focused property maintenance strategy for the city.

The most critical element, those involved say, is that the plan not get put on the shelf and gather dust. In order to continue the momentum, they would like to see members of the public continue to be engaged in the effort and show up to meetings.

After the study session, the commission will hold its regular meeting and consider such agenda items as an emergency water service agreement with a rural water district — a money-earning action that also figures into the Imagine 2030 plan. That meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Solid Waste Task Force will meet to continue discussions as to which form of trash removal would best serve local residents. What began as a contentious topic in a heated City Commission meeting has taken the form of 17 members working toward a consensus. Those meetings, too, are open to the public.

Then, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, the City Commission will hold a study session before its regular meeting to discuss performance measures when it comes to economic development. Specifically, the commission will decide how to measure the performance of Benson in his new role of wearing two hats.

Agendas are available in advance on the city website, www.pittks.org, for all commission meetings, advisory board meetings and task force meetings. Minutes for all meetings are available at the same location. Those without Internet access may request printed copies from City Clerk Tammy Nagel at City Hall, 201 W. Fourth St., or at 620-231-4100.

FOLLOW ANDRA STEFANONI on Facebook at facebook.com/andrajournalist and on Twitter @AndraStefanoni.

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