The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

April 30, 2013

Joplin board issues remainder of $62 million in bonds

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Board of Education on Tuesday authorized the sale of $27 million in bonds to help pay for the rebuilding of schools destroyed by the 2011 tornado.

The amount is what’s left to be sold of a total of $62 million in general obligation bonds that voters approved in April 2012 to go toward about $185 million in construction projects. The list includes the rebuilding of Joplin High School, Franklin Technology Center, East Middle School, and Irving and what now is called Soaring Heights elementary schools, and construction of safe rooms at all schools.

The first bond sale, in the amount of $35 million, took place in July 2012. Paul Barr, the district’s chief financial officer, said the objective of splitting the issue was to wait until the second segment of the bond proceeds was needed for the construction projects.

“We didn’t need all the money last summer, so we will have saved some interest expenses,” he said.

Gregory Bricker, executive vice president of George K. Baum & Co., the Kansas City-based underwriter of the bonds, said the district saved nearly $1 million in interest expenses by waiting until now to sell the second portion of the bonds.

Bricker told the board that all the bonds were “spoken for” and would be sold after Tuesday’s meeting. He said local investors accounted for about $1.2 million in purchases.

The interest rate on the bonds — 3.53 percent — remains largely unchanged from last summer’s sales, Bricker said. The bond closing is scheduled for May 15, he said.

Voters last year authorized a 35-cent levy hike to pay off the debt over 20 years. The school district’s total levy is now $3.66, which means that the owner of a $100,000 home pays about $695 in school taxes annually.

In other business Tuesday, the board accepted the following bids for construction work:

• A $113,000 bid from Livers Bronze Co. for stainless steel and decorative railing materials at East Middle School and Soaring Heights Elementary School.

• A $52,420 bid from Desco Coatings Inc. for precast concrete terrazzo at East/Soaring Heights.

• A $127,689 bid from KAT Excavation Inc. for topsoil at East/Soaring Heights.

• A $527,000 bid from Swift Construction Co. for asphalt at East/Soaring Heights.

• A $429,350 bid from North American Landscape Solutions for landscaping and irrigation at East/Soaring Heights.

• A $777,595 bid from Carroll Seating Co. for auditorium seating and telescopic stands at Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center.

The acceptance of the bids follows action earlier this month in which board members gave a green light to more than $34 million in other construction work at the high school site.

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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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