JOPLIN, Mo. —
Now the city can start spending the money.
At a presentation Thursday at Joplin City Hall, Theresa Porter, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development deputy regional administrator, made official its $45 million Community Development Block Grant to the city. The grant had been announced previously. It is designed to help the city recover from the May 22, 2011, tornado.
City Manager Mark Rohr said Joplin has set the standard for responding to disasters, and that other towns can follow that standard.
“This is another tool, another resource to help us in our rebuilding effort,” Rohr said.
Rohr said HUD officials met with city officials 10 days after the tornado.
“They weren’t really telling us what to do, but they were planting a seed,” he said.
He said HUD’s response was based on its response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in New Orleans.
Help in shepherding the funding through Congress came from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Rohr said.
“He carried the water in Congress,” Rohr said.
Porter said the Joplin tornado made an immediate impression on HUD officials.
“It’s seared in our hearts and our memories,” she said.
Ideas about how to respond started flowing immediately, Porter said.
“All we could think is: ‘How can we help? How can we help?’” she said.
The $45 million grant award was the answer the agency found.
“We’re here to help,” Porter said as she presented an oversized, ceremonial check.
“The story of Joplin has been a collaborative effort,” Rohr said, making note of the 154,000 registered volunteers, money donated by individuals, prayers, and assistance from the state and federal governments.
Projects connected with housing are the largest part of the budget for the disaster recovery grant, making up more than $31 million of the total. Those include almost $13 million for down payments and other forms of assistance for single-family homebuyers who need help getting back into a home. The goal is to build 400 houses to replace some of those destroyed by the tornado.
Also included in the $31 million housing total are $9 million toward building multifamily housing; $1.5 million for repairing single-family homes; and $8 million for property acquisition.
There is $5.4 million in the budget to restore the former Union Depot, which has been offered as a future home of the Joplin Museum Complex.
Also in budget
THE BUDGET for the disaster recovery grant includes $6.5 million for infrastructure projects: $2.5 million to build or rebuild sidewalks; $2 million for trails; and $2 million for tree planting.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Now the city can start spending the money.
- May 2011 Joplin tornado
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.”
- SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary
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.
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.
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.
FEMA official recognized by city
A retiring official of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who directed much of that agency’s response to Joplin’s 2011 tornado was recognized Friday by the city of Joplin. Richard Serino, the deputy administrator of FEMA, was presented a proclamation by Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean during his last visit to Joplin before he retires on Jan. 23.
Two Joplin men sentenced to two years for tornado fraud
Two Joplin men convicted in separate incidents of disaster fraud related to the May 22, 2011, tornado on Monday were sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution. Andy Eric Brownlee, 32, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes. to pay $2,750 in restitution, and Leslie Lynn Williams, 54, was ordered to pay $1,196 in restitution.
Tornado fund board hears grant requests
Trustees of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund heard proposals Tuesday from 11 organizations for grant funding. The board is to decide how to spend about $225,000 remaining in the fund in what may be the final round of grants. The fund was established shortly after the 2011 tornado to receive donations from those who wanted to give direct aid to Joplin for recovery.
Joplin community publishes book of tornado experiences
Leaders in the Joplin community have published a collection of stories about the 2011 tornado and the recovery efforts that followed. First-hand accounts for the book, titled “Joplin Pays It Forward,” were written by city and school leaders; officials from health care centers and public utility companies; leaders in the business and media communities; representatives of churches and nonprofit organizations; and individuals with federal, state and local disaster relief groups and agencies.
New fire stations being readied for opening
After 2 1/2 years in temporary quarters as a result of the 2011 Joplin tornado, firefighter crews are moving into newly built replacement stations ahead of schedule. Firefighters last week began preparing a new Station No. 2 at 2825 W. Junge Blvd. for occupancy. It replaces a station at 2216 S. Maiden Lane that was destroyed in the tornado.
- More May 2011 Joplin tornado Headlines
- Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment