The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 19, 2012

Joplin City Council to consider contract to advance redevelopment plans

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin City Council tonight will consider taking another step that would help the master developer get some of the proposed projects for Joplin off the ground.

The council will consider a contract that would allow Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, of Sugar Land, Texas, to work with a city board to acquire property for the proposed tornado recovery projects.

That board is the Joplin Redevelopment 353 Corp.

City Attorney Brian Head said the contract specifies what services the master developer is to provide.

“They are going to provide acquisition services. They are going to provide due diligence services like obtaining title insurance, and they will manage the properties while they are held and assist with the disposition of them” through the 353 board, Head said.

He also said the contract is contingent on the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. receiving funding to buy properties. Head said he does not yet know what the source of that funding is to be.

The Wallace Bajjali firm would get paid 5.75 percent of the cost of the transactions for its services. The contract term is for five years, Head said.

Wallace Bajjali has outlined 19 projects that would cost $794 million if they were all constructed. The largest project includes 1,300 new houses. Also on the list are a performing arts complex, Union Depot restoration, a larger public library combined with a theater, a hotel and convention center, and more.

Tax rate

A public hearing will be held tonight on Joplin’s property tax rate.

The proposed levy would increase less than 1 cent per $100 assessed valuation, going from 40.66 cents this fiscal year to 41.65 cents. The city’s fiscal year starts Nov. 1.

Most of the levy, 25.45 cents, goes to the Joplin Public Library for its operations. That is the same rate as the current fiscal year’s levy, as specified by Missouri law. The increase will be in the city’s portion of the rate, which would go from 15.21 to 16.20 cents per $100 valuation.

Joplin’s property tax provides slightly more than 1 percent of the city’s general revenues, and helps pay some of the costs for the Joplin Health and Welfare fund administered by the health department, the parks and recreation fund and the solid waste management fund.

The change would increase the city tax for a home valued at $100,000 by $1.88, to $79.14.

Although the rate will go up slightly, the property tax is expected to generate less revenue overall than last year’s total because of the loss of properties as a result of the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Mark your calendar

The Joplin City Council meets at 6 p.m. today on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

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