The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 29, 2012

Joplin residents hear redevelopment proposal

JOPLIN, Mo. — More than 100 people came to each of two sessions Monday at City Hall to hear a presentation on the $794 million in projects a master developer firm has proposed for Joplin’s redevelopment and to comment on them.

Residents were asked to post written comments and encouraged to ask questions about each of the projects that make up the proposal by Wallace Bajjali Development Partners of Sugar Land, Texas, which the City Council has contracted to guide the recovery.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said resident and business owner George Bostick at the afternoon session of the overall proposal to build various kinds of housing, a performing arts complex, a medical education complex and various types of retail development. “I hope they get private enterprise involved in it” and not rely strictly on government funding and city backing, Bostick said of the projects.

Resident Bill Pate questioned whether the projects would serve Joplin’s lowest income residents. He cited in particular a proposal to build a public library and movie theater complex on 20th Street.

Pate believes that area could be out of reach for some of the library’s current users.

“I am a retired social worker. I have concerns about a population that is not well represented here. How will those people who go to the library to use the computers access it on 20th Street if they cannot afford to take the (city) trolley?” He said he was speaking of low-income residents who live on the north side of town.

“If this whole thing works, are more and more people being priced out” of accessing Joplin’s activities? Pate asked.

Ben Miller, a certified public accountant, said he lives in Webb City but works in Joplin. He said he came to see what funding sources are to be used for the proposed projects. He was concerned about whether projects could be left hanging if there are federal spending cuts that reduce the amount of grants available to cities.

He said he learned at the session “that a lot of that public funding is already committed” for these projects. That includes $45 million in federal Community Development block grant funding and the potential for $20 million from the Economic Development Administration.

“Some are going to be hard to get public support for,” Miller predicted. He cited a minor league baseball field and team. Wallace told the audiences that the owners of the Amarillo Sox have indicated they would consider putting a team in Joplin if a new field were built.

In the written remarks left by those who attended the evening session, the bulk of the comments in regard to the interest in minor league baseball said Joplin already has a ballpark at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

Some residents are likely to wonder if taxpayers will be supporting these projects 10 years from now if investors in them pull out, Miller said. He said he is reminded of when Joplin city officials in 2007 turned down a proposal by Global Entertainment Corp. to build a hockey arena because of the cost and amount of debt the city would have assumed at a time when some other arena projects were failing.

Charlie Kuehn of Four State Homes, a Joplin builder of residential, commercial and retail projects, said he supports the proposal. “I think it sounds pretty good. They are covering all aspects” of development, “which opens a lot of doors for local builders.”

Asked if the projects list appeared to be achievable, Kuehn said, “I think a lot of it can become reality, especially with the help of the city. Joplin has the potential to grow right now if they do it right. It’s like David (Wallace) said, we can end up with a big scar down the middle or we can build back” from the 2011 tornado, which destroyed or damaged 7,500 homes and about 500 businesses in the central section.

Jane Cage, chairwoman of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, asked residents to submit comments about what type of tornado memorial they would like to see. Many of the comments supported a site where St. John’s Regional Medical Center was destroyed; it has been donated to the city as a memorial site.

The comments will be posted to the CART’s website later in the week, Cage said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pension funding improving, actuary reports

    An extra $1 million contribution by the city of Joplin last year to the Police and Firemen’s Pension Fund boosted the funding ratio of the plan by 2 percent, the plan’s actuary told the board Thursday morning.

    April 17, 2014

  • Special counsel to be appointed in ethics complaint against Neosho council members

    The Neosho Ethics Board on Wednesday voted to ask the City Council to appoint a special counsel to provide legal advice to the board’s remaining two members as they investigate a complaint against two members of the council.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Will new Earth-like planet have better cable offerings?

    When I read that astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, I had a couple of deep scientific questions. First: What’s the Wi-Fi like? And: Are their TV channels better than ours? Hey, I didn’t get an “Incomplete” in college astronomy for nothing.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Christian ministry plans Missouri camp expansion

    A nondenominational Christian ministry is planning a $21.5 million expansion on land it owns near Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, with a goal of offering gatherings beyond the traditional summer camps.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

     moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014

  • Chairman of Neosho Ethics Board resigns

    The chairman of the Neosho Ethics Board unexpectedly resigned on Thursday as the board investigates a complaint against Neosho City Council members David Ruth and Steve Hart.

    April 17, 2014

  • CWEP receives top honor from national power group

    The Carthage Water and Electric Plant has received the top award for reliable electrical service from the American Public Power Association.

    April 17, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Would you use a community safe room when the area is under a tornado warning?

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