(From the City of Joplin)
With residential debris removal well in hand, Joplin City officials are asking commercial property owners to keep pace by clearing business lots throughout the impacted areas or at least have a solid plan to clear those lots no later than August 8.
“We are working hard to turn our debris-filled landscape into clean, buildable lots so that we can redevelop Joplin in the weeks and months ahead,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “We need our business owners to help that process by getting the debris removed from their properties as soon as possible.”
Since the storm, city, state and federal cleanup efforts have focused largely on residential areas, due to the residential debris removal deadline and because commercial debris is not eligible for pickup by the government-funded contractors.
Many commercial properties have been cleared or are in the process of being cleaned up, but some are lagging behind, a situation that City officials say needs to be addressed. Commercial properties include retail and service businesses, as well as residential rental units such as apartments, condos, four-plexes and others.
“We have tried to give our businesses some extra time to clear their properties, because those cases tend to be more complex situations due to ownership, franchising or sheer size of the structures,” Rohr said. “But now, we need our commercial sector to catch up with the rest of our cleanup efforts to help Joplin continue to move forward.”
Effective immediately, commercial properties either need to be fully cleared of loose, tornado debris by August 8 or the property owner needs to present a signed, valid contract for debris removal to the City showing that a contractor has committed to removing the debris. Commercial debris must be hauled away; it CANNOT be pushed to the public rights-of-way for pickup. Standing, tornado-damaged structures are not required to be demolished by this deadline.
After August 8, the City will begin a process to declare uncleared properties as a public nuisance. This process will closely follow the one used recently for residential properties – meaning that there will be a public notice of a possible nuisance designation, Joplin City Council consideration/determination of nuisances, and a final, published notice of nuisance declarations.
For more information, contact the City’s Public Works Division at 417-624-0820, ext. 539.