(From the City of Joplin)
Local officials announce the establishment of a planning framework and process to develop a recovery roadmap following the May 22, 2011 tornado. Community input will be a key component as officials work with citizen stakeholders to guide community recovery. The process will integrate a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and volunteers supporting recovery planning, comprehensive planning and economic development strategies.
Disasters create unique challenges and necessitate innovative and creative solutions to large, complex issues. “Working together, we can make the best of this situation. The incredible community spirit that we saw for the response will be our strength in recovery,” said Rob O’Brian, President, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.
While final details of the recovery planning process are still being refined, representatives from Joplin, Duquesne, and Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce will visit Greensburg, Kansas to discuss long-term recovery experiences with residents and local officials that have dealt with post-disaster redevelopment, to consider if some of the strategies employed there can be successfully applied in Joplin.
“We see this as an opportunity to bring citizens, community leaders, professionals and volunteers together to utilize opportunities that result from the tragedy of a disaster,” said Troy Bolander, Planning and Community Development Manager for the City of Joplin. “We will make the Joplin area stronger, more resilient to future economic and natural events, and a more attractive place to live,”
Public involvement plays a critical role in shaping the future of a community and this process allows citizen ideas and comments to become the foundation of future decision-making. Citizen participation will help the community articulate the best way to apply federal, state, non-profit and private sector resources, which will have long-term positive impact on recovery. The public engagement process is designed to establish a systematic approach to challenging and complex issues.
“More details will be forthcoming on public meetings to get citizens involved,” said Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr. “It is very important to hear from our residents. In past planning sessions, our citizens have stepped up and voiced their ideas. We want that same effort again, but it the significance of it is magnified as we rebuild Joplin bigger and better for our community.”
Citizens are encouraged to listen to news media outlets for announcements of upcoming meetings that will begin in mid-July.