Final approval of a 9% raise for Joplin city workers is one of many items prepared for City Council action at a meeting Monday.

After hearing details of a recent wage study and a recommendation by City Manager Nick Edwards at meetings in September, the council had informally advanced the $1.1 million plan for an across-the-board increase.

The results of the study put Joplin at 112% above the local market and surrounding smaller cities but at 84% of regional cities in Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas.

"The fiscal year 2021 budget had enough capacity to grant a 9% across-the-board wage adjustment. With a 9% pay plan adjustment, the positions included in the study will be 99%-100% of the overall blended (local and regional) market, bringing the entire plan within market competitive pay as defined by the study," a city memo states.

Part of the reason that money is available is because of the Proposition B half-cent sales tax voters approved last year to fully fund the Police and Firefighters Pension Fund. Funding from that tax also is paying to move newer eligible employees to a state retirement fund to release the city from the obligation of funding its own pension for public safety workers after the current fund has been closed out.

The raises will go into effect with the new budget on Nov. 1 if council gives the final approval Monday.

Council members also will be asked to adopt the fiscal 2021 budget and a separate bill to fund the 2020-2021 fire department budget of more than $9 million.

As a result of changes to make the Joplin History and Mineral Museum part of the city's parks and recreation department rather than an independent contractor, bills are proposed to establish the position of museum curator.

Council members also will be asked to act on proposed resolutions of support for the potential redevelopment of one of Joplin's historic buildings, the Olivia Apartments, into an income-eligible senior housing project, and for a second phase to expand the Memorial Hills affordable senior housing apartments.

In addition, a measure is proposed that would provide $40,000 for three years for the Downtown Joplin Alliance to market and promote restoration of downtown historic buildings. That money is sought to leverage a $100,000 grant the alliance was awarded by the 1772 Foundation for that purpose.

The council also will hear a proposal to lease city baseball and softball fields to a local promoter, Parkwood Tournament LLC, to operate and book Joe Becker Stadium, Wendell Redden Stadium, Gabby Street Field and Bassman Softball Complex.

The Joplin City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

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