The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 17, 2012

Joplin City Council to consider adding recovery job

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin will hire a tornado recovery project coordinator who will be funded by the federal government if the City Council approves at its meeting tonight.

The federal Economic Development Administration gave the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council and the city a grant of $342,000 for work on economic development projects in Joplin, Duquesne and areas of Jasper and Newton counties that were affected by the 2011 tornado. Part of that money is to be used to hire a coordinator for Joplin and Duquesne, and another for the outlying areas.

Troy Bolander, Joplin’s city planner and development director, said the grant money was given to allow replacement of planners who were here from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The city is to receive enough to finance the position for two years.

“They are taking over the FEMA planner’s position that was here throughout the disaster,” Bolander said. “That function was primarily supported by the planners for FEMA, but they are no longer located here anymore.”

The duties are different from those the master developer is to accomplish.

“The role of the master developer is to bring in additional private investment to the table. They are working on specific projects,” Bolander said. “The disaster recovery coordinator will help manage all the programs that pertain to recovery, whether it be ones involving the master developer, the Environmental Protection Agency, the EDA (Economic Development Administration) or the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team. This position is coordinating all of those economic development activities.”

The Truman Coordinating Council has advertised the positions and has taken applications. Bolander said the city will be looking for a candidate who has experience in planning, perhaps a person involved with economic development who can do market research and analysis, and someone who has experience in working on projects from start to finish. The salary has not been determined, he said. The coordinator would work in the city’s planning and community development department.

Another tornado-related project will be considered by the council.

A contract for $122,839 is proposed for replacement and installation of street signs and poles that were destroyed or damaged in the storm.

The city has 659 poles and 1,223 signs that need to be replaced.

Five bids were received. The low bid came from CDL Electric. The other bids ranged up to $386,802.

Legislative update

The City Council meets at 6 p.m. today on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St. An informal meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. for an update on this year’s legislative session, and appointments to city boards and commissions.

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