The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

July 15, 2013

Request to add city position draws questions from Joplin council members

JOPLIN, Mo. — A request to add a city position to help administer Community Development Block Grant funds caused some Joplin City Council members on Monday to question whether it was needed or whether a detailed plan for hiring to help with tornado recovery should be presented.

The city has received two grants, one for $45 million and a second for $113 million for tornado recovery from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Use of the grant money must meet HUD specifications and be divided between low- to moderate-income areas and areas of blight.

The council was asked to authorize a project manager position in a salary range of $46,303 to $69,793 that is to be funded from the grant. The job would be assigned to the city planning and development division and the duties would be to manage, supervise and administer tornado-recovery projects the city generates with the CDBG money. A staff memo mentions that there may be a request to hire a second employee.

Councilman Bill Scearce asked why the city needs to hire and pay an employee when the council had previously approved a contract of more than $1.5 million for a national firm, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, to be the administrator.

City Manager Mark Rohr said that while the firm will manage the city’s compliance with the technical federal rules on using the grant money, the city needs someone to handle local details of the projects. Deloitte is an accounting firm that is to audit the city’s financial compliance with HUD rules. Rohr said the city also needs more staffing to handle the overall workload of the projects that will use HUD funds.

Councilman Jack Golden said he believes the additional help needs to be in the engineering department, where building plans are evaluated and approved.

Rohr said he did not disagree that more help would be needed in engineering. He said the council has informally discussed that there would need to be more workers in some city departments as the projects and those brought by the master development firm develop.

Golden said he would like to see a more detailed plan of the help the city will need. “Hiring one person is not going to cut it,” he said.

Rohr replied, “No. This is a start. There will likely be more positions,” adding that the city had set aside $1.2 million of the grants for administration costs.

The motion to authorize the position carried 6-2 with Scearce and Golden voting against it. One council member, Trisha Raney, was absent.

In other action, the council approved a contract for more than $2.6 million for street resurfacing to Blevins Asphalt Construction Company Inc.

David Hertzberg, the city’s public works director, said that amount would pay for repairing and resurfacing 50 lane miles, which represents about 6 percent of the city’s streets. Work is being done to prepare more bids for street work, he told the council. The city plans to repair and resurface about a quarter of the city’s streets this year. Many were damaged by the tornado and the subsequent use of heavy equipment for debris removal, demolition and rebuilding.

Councilman Mike Woolston asked if the work would include repairing manhole covers, which create bumps. Hertzberg said it will cover that work with more than 200 manhole covers planned for repair.

Councilman Morris Glaze asked if some of the intersections which have worn unevenly or become rutted would be ground down so that they are level. Hertzberg said they would be and that “super pave” — a higher grade of paving material — would be applied in those areas where there is heavy traffic.

The council also approved a contract for $36,300 with Olson and Associates, an engineering firm, for work on the proposed 20th Street train viaduct. Olson will have the responsibility of making sure that the plans for the bridge meet the specifications of the owner of the railroad, Kansas City Southern.

High marks

Councilman Michael Seibert said he heard lots of compliments on the new Schifferdecker Aquatic Park from those who participated over the weekend in a regional swim meet here.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills 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

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 17, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo