The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 18, 2013

Council to hold public hearings on levy, budget

JOPLIN, Mo. — Public hearings on Joplin’s property tax rate and a proposed budget for the next fiscal year will be held at tonight’s meeting of the Joplin City Council.

Joplin’s fiscal year begins Nov. 1.

A slight increase is proposed in the property levy based on state calculations tied to a rise in the Consumer Price Index. The levy would go from 41.65 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 42.31 cents. That would raise the tax on a $100,000 house by $1.25 to a total of $80.39.

Part of the tax — 25.45 cents — goes to support the Joplin Public Library. The levy would generate $1,203,167 for the library, according to the city’s calculations. The city retains 16.86 cents of the levy, which would generate $901,602 to help support some of the work of the Joplin Health Department, the Parks and Recreation Department and solid waste collection.

A public hearing also is to be held on the city’s total budget.

This coming fiscal year’s budget will be $258.7 million if it is approved by the council, not quite double the current year’s budget of $143.6 million.

Leslie Haase, Joplin finance director, said the total is the largest ever because it includes two disaster recovery Community Development Block Grants of $45 million and $113 million. It also includes a $12 million federal highway grant awarded for street projects, including the construction of a 20th Street viaduct.

The rest of the budget will contain “pretty standard” expenditures, Haase said.

In other business tonight, City Attorney Brian Head will ask the council to approve changes to boundaries of the city’s four council zones to reflect annexations that have taken place, including the consolidation of Silver Creek.

The council last authorized changes in those boundaries after the 2011 tornado. The city charter requires that the zones remain largely equitable in the number of voters each contains.

Four of the council’s nine members represent a designated zone.

A site plan for the construction of an apartment complex on the old Joplin Stockyards property is to be reviewed.

The plan calls for 84 units to be built in the Rustic Ridge Villas on the back of the stockyards property near Florida Avenue, south of Newman Road. The plan includes a 36-unit and a 48-unit complex, a clubhouse, pool and a parking lot for 171 vehicles.

Neighbors had expressed concerns about the loss of a natural tree border between the site and single-family residences to the south of it. That is why the council voted to require a site plan review. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the site plan.

Also on the agenda is a request by the Missouri Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit on Range Line Road from 45 to 40 mph. MoDOT has concluded that speed is more consistent with the flow of traffic. The proposal was endorsed by the city’s Traffic Commission, which heard it on July 11.

Want to go?

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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