The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

April 18, 2013

$15 million state grant for Joplin heads to House

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Senate passed legislation Thursday that would provide Joplin with more than $15 million for tornado redevelopment projects.

The legislation passed the chamber 34-0 and now heads to the House of Representatives for debate next week.

Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis, sponsored the bill. Lamping said he first visited Joplin earlier this year at the request of Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and his wife.

“After all this time, it is still very apparent what has transpired,” Lamping said. “Away from an initial surge, the state has not expended any monies in this regard.”

Thursday’s vote on Lamping’s bill was not the first time lawmakers have considered funding for Joplin’s recovery from the 2011 tornado. Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, said that since the storm, lawmakers have considered making the tornado zone a state tax increment financing district as a way to finance recovery projects, but the issue kept getting hung up because of opposition to those types of tax proposals.

“They had to talk about it quite a bit,” Flanigan said. “It wasn’t a slam-dunk, but you don’t want anything to be a slam-dunk. You want people to talk about it.”

Richard, an original supporter of the TIF legislation, said he was happy with the Senate’s legislative language.

“The TIF was a 23-year project, and there wasn’t a lot of support for that,” he said. “The value of money is more important now than 23 years from now.”

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr said of the Senate action: “We appreciate the Senate’s ongoing support of our recovery efforts. Sen. Richard and his colleagues have been diligently pursuing ways to provide resources to our city to enable our rebuilding.”

The bill the Senate passed restricts the funding to be used only inside the tornado zone.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis, added an amendment that would allow any future funds appropriated to the bill’s Rebuild Damaged Infrastructure Program to be used to rebuild from future disasters in other parts of the state.

“I don’t want to address one place, but not the other,” she said. “I feel that it is appropriate to cover the entire state so we don’t ignore one part or the other.”

Additionally, Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles, added an amendment that would sweep $500,000 from the Department of Revenue to fund a poison control center.

The overall bill was supported by the city of Joplin, as well as Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, the city’s contracted master development firm. Representatives of both traveled to Jefferson City earlier this year to testify in favor of the proposal because — as Wallace Bajjali CEO David Wallace said at the time — they thought they would “be better off with the grant of $15 million.”

The city of Joplin approved a local TIF district that encompasses the tornado zone, as well as much of the central and northern sections of the city, to raise money to issue bonds that will finance part of $806 million in redevelopment projects. The TIF district is expected to generate $57 million.

Carefulness

SEN. RON RICHARD, of Joplin, the majority floor leader in the body, said he left the bill in the hands of Sen. John Lamping and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer in order to remove any “sense of impropriety” that he might be using his leadership position to ram through special funding for his district.

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

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