The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

November 25, 2012

Tax district plan to be focus of Joplin school board meeting

JOPLIN, Mo. — Members of the Joplin Board of Education might not have enough information about a proposed tax increment financing district to vote on its approval at their meeting this week, the president of the board said late last week.

“I don’t know yet” if the board will vote at its meeting Tuesday, president Randy Steele said. “We could, but it may come back to the point where we have to schedule another meeting to make a decision.”

Steele said he expects board members will be updated Tuesday on recent developments with the proposed TIF district, which would encompass most of the tornado-affected zone and downtown. Officials say it would provide about $60 million in revenue from tax growth to help pay for about $806 million in redevelopment projects being envisioned. Tax money from future increased assessments in the TIF district would be reinvested in the plan.

In a Nov. 16 letter to the city’s TIF Commission, which will hold a public hearing Friday on the proposal, school officials outlined their primary concerns with the tax district. They said they were concerned that the plan would freeze the school district’s assessed valuation at a post-tornado level, which is about $34 million less than it was before the May 2011 storm.

They also expressed concern that housing redevelopment in the TIF district could bring in an additional 2,630 students, which they said would create a need to expand schools at a cost of more than $73 million and add $70 million in operating costs.

Last week, David Wallace, of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, the city’s master developer for tornado recovery, told the Globe that his firm had a proposal for school officials that he hoped would meet their needs and answer their questions. He declined to release details of the proposal until it becomes public this week during public meetings.

School Superintendent C.J. Huff said last week that talks between the school district and the developer were continuing. He said school officials were “working hard” to resolve their issues with the TIF proposal and that he hoped to have answers to their questions as early as today.

Steele said many unanswered questions remained on the part of school board members late last week.

“We really can’t vote (on the TIF proposal) because we really don’t know what’s being proposed totally to us yet,” he said. “We’re just going to try to get as much information as we can so we can more or less do what we need to do.”

Steele said he would not “force a vote” on Tuesday if board members thought they needed more information. But the board is expected by Friday to give a vote of support or opposition to the proposal in order to guide the votes of Huff and Chief Financial Officer Paul Barr, the school district’s two representatives to the 11-member TIF Commission.

“I know there are still talks going on back and forth” among the school district, the city and the developer, Steele said. “We know there are negotiations; we know there are talks going on. We’re just kind of waiting on all the details to come in.”

Wallace has said the city must proceed as scheduled with establishing the TIF district or risk losing some of the projects outlined in the plan. The timetable calls for the public hearing on Friday, with a recommendation to go to the City Council in December.

Also scheduled on Tuesday is a board work session, at which the TIF district will be the primary topic of discussion.

Listed on the agenda for both the work session and the meeting are closed sessions for legal and real estate matters, and personnel issues.

Meeting details

THE JOPLIN BOARD OF EDUCATION
will meet for a work session at 5:30 p.m. and for its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the administration building, 3901 E. 32nd St. The 7 p.m. meeting will be streamed live on the JET-14 television station.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r071014peacelutheran4.jpg Rebuilt Peace Lutheran adds outdoor features in nature-centered ministry

    Katharine Redpath keeps a pair of red and black leopard-print rain boots in her car for use in her pastoral duties at Peace Lutheran Church. “I never thought it would be part of my uniform,” she joked on a recent rainy day as she pulled them on in preparation for another trek onto the church grounds. Since opening their new building in north Joplin last spring, church members have moved beyond the brick-and-mortar structure.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Missouri’s Bright Flight scholarship to be fully funded for top students

    Missouri’s Bright Flight scholarship will be fully funded for top students this year for the first time since the 2009-10 academic year, officials with the state Department of Higher Education announced Friday.

    July 13, 2014

  • Joplin City Council schedules meeting with Wallace Bajjali

    The Joplin City Council will get its monthly update from representatives of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners when it meets for an informal session Monday night.

    July 13, 2014

  • Joplin High School construction ‘fast, furious’ in homestretch

    Will Joplin High School be ready for classes next month? It’s a question that is being asked of Superintendent C.J. Huff almost daily now, and he said Friday that the project is still tracking for an Aug. 25 opening. “I’m over there almost every day, and the transformation is remarkable,” he said.

    July 11, 2014

  • 070114 St Mary's cross 3.jpg Crucifix returns after three-year absence

    The original crucifix at St. Mary’s Catholic Church has come home. It had hung behind the altar since 1968, until the 2011 tornado destroyed the church and nearly everything in it, along with the nearby rectory, school, parish center and more.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • r071014newbiz5.jpg Study examines costs of starting businesses in area towns

    When Firehouse Pottery opened in Joplin this spring, it was just one of the hundreds of new businesses that launch in the Four-State Area each year. Charity Hawkins, a Joplin native, said she and her husband “wanted to do something that would be great” for their hometown and decided to open a business that catered to both youths and adults. But starting a new business is a high-risk gamble.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • Free Agency-LeBron.jpg LeBron James says he’s returning to Cavaliers

    LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071314stmarysmove.jpg More than 100 volunteers turn out to move school to its new permanent home

    Staff and students of St. Mary’s Elementary School have been through a lot of changes together since their old school at 505 W. 25th St. was destroyed in the 2011 Joplin tornado. Second-grade teacher Bette Schoeberl said the temporary quarters were cramped and that it was sometimes hard to move around. On Saturday, Schoeberl and other staff members moved into their new school building.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071114 Mustang1_72.jpg Mustangs roll into Joplin for Mother Road Weekend

    Amanda Massey, of Joplin, gasped when she saw the 1968 fastback Mustang. “This is gorgeous — simply gorgeous,’’ she said. “I have always wanted an old Mustang.’’ With family members in tow, Massey had an opportunity Friday to examine a herd of wild and colorful Mustangs that muscled its way onto Main Street in downtown Joplin for the Mustang Mother Road Weekend.

    July 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Local libraries target early childhood literacy with state program

    Local libraries are reporting great success so far this summer with the Racing to Read program, an early childhood literacy initiative from the state. The program, established by Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, is designed to help strengthen and expand the quality and availability of library services to address early literacy needs in Missouri.

    July 11, 2014