The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

January 29, 2013

Joplin redevelopment projects hit temporary snag

JOPLIN, Mo. — Decisions that would set financing in place to start property acquisitions for Joplin’s tornado redevelopment projects sustained at least a temporary setback Tuesday.

Members of the Joplin Redevelopment Corp., also known as the 353 Commission, agreed they would not take any official action after learning from the city attorney that the city has not been able to put in place public risk or liability insurance to cover the board.

The board had scheduled a meeting Tuesday. Items listed on the agenda included co-signing the city’s application for a $20 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration and holding a closed session on property transactions.

The city’s contracted master developer, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, intends for the corporation to buy and sell land for tornado redevelopment projects. To start that procedure, the board was expected to ratify a loan agreement with a consortium of local banks for $8 million in financing for purchases until bonds can be issued on future revenues from a new tax increment financing district.

The board was told that the city’s insurer had declined to cover the 353 Commission but that an insurer had been found that has covered other 353 boards in Missouri. Board member Michael Hagan, a banker, said, “That tenders a concern for me,” and another board member, Brian Shaw, concurred.

City Attorney Brian Head said that in addition to insurance covering the board for errors that could occur in the transactions, the board also needs liability insurance. He said he thinks the city’s application for insurance will be accepted soon, possibly within a week, but the insurer has not yet agreed to issue the policy.

Board Chairman Ron Darby asked, “If that company says ‘no,’ are we on hold?”

Head said that is a possibility because the city does not have enough money to insure the board.

City Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg, the council liaison to the board, asked if the board’s structure as a corporation was a shield from personal liability.

Head said that could provide some protection from lawsuits and judgments, but the board will be holding property for city projects that could be exposed.

David Wallace, CEO of the development firm, asked if the board could take a vote to offer direction on pending projects that could be ratified after insurance were in place. Head said he believed the board could do that as long as it did not take possession of any property. But board members balked.

“I will not be voting on anything until there is insurance coverage,” Hagan said. “There is too much liability.”

The board was asked to co-sign the city’s application with the Economic Development Administration. That $20 million grant is part of the financing for the proposed construction of a new Joplin Public Library and movie theater complex at 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue.

Head and the city’s finance director, Leslie Jones, said there is no liability involved in signing a grant application.

The board was told that members had previously agreed to co-sign the application. Shaw said that at the time the board agreed to that, members did not know they would not have insurance coverage in place.

Rosenberg advised the board members that they should protect themselves.

Head was asked if there is a deadline on submitting the grant application. City staff members told the board that the federal agency wants to complete authorization of the grant before March.

Board members indicated they would wait until the insurance is in effect to co-sign the application.

The board was briefed on the loan agreement. It was told that the local banks would provide an $8 million line of credit and that any property purchased would be collateral for the loans. The board will be asked in the future to approve the loan on behalf of the corporation.

Hagan asked when the money will be available from the sale of bonds related to the TIF district. Wallace said it would be the second quarter of the year. Jones said a request for bids on the bond issue will be issued soon.

Asked if the board had any concerns about the financing mechanisms, Hagan said the board will want to have money available in time to meet the debt repayment.

“We want to get some things going here,” Darby said. “We’re as anxious as anyone in the city” to get the redevelopment projects going.

Closed meeting

THE 353 COMMISSION conducted a closed session, citing discussion on acquiring real estate as the reason for closing the meeting.

1
Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Issues prompt pair to seek help from city; allocations approved for repairs in tornado zone

    Two people spoke to the Joplin City Council on Monday night about issues they would like the city government to address. Elizabeth Clement, a Neosho resident who works in Joplin, asked the city to operate more surveillance in parking lots because of the number of cars stolen. She said her car was stolen from the parking lot at Northpark Mall and used in robberies.

    April 7, 2014

  • National institute releases final report on Joplin tornado

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Friday released a final report into the technical investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin — the deadliest tornado in the United States in the 64 years that official records have been kept.

    March 28, 2014

  • r031814tornadofunds2.jpg Local tornado fund board cites appreciation, accomplishments

    The 991 donations ranged from $1 to $119,000. They came from all over the world. On Tuesday, the managers of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund gave an accounting of how those donations, which totaled about $995,950 with interest, were given in 41 grants, recipients of which included 27 local agencies.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dan Riddell 0604013.jpg Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment

    After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • r021714rescuedog.jpg Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog

    Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.

    February 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum

    National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.

    February 4, 2014

  • Building-permit total since tornado nears $1 billion

    The building of new homes in Joplin continues at an average pace of 16 to 18 per month, according to a building permit report released for December by the city of Joplin. Eighteen building permits for new homes were issued in both November and December. In fiscal year 2013, permits for new homes averaged more than 16 per month.

    January 31, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos


Featured Ads
Facebook
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief