I apologize for the delay in sending you this week’s report, but after three days of budget meetings and helping to set up for the swim meet at Schifferdecker this weekend, my first chance to sit down and type this report was earlier this morning.
On Monday, Chamber President Rob O’Brian and I met with Rickey Hayes from Retail Strategies, to discuss retail sites and opportunities in Joplin.
Due to a limited schedule we were unable to visit all of the sites I had hoped to visit, but we did tour the site at 20th and Connecticut. We are planning for another day-long meeting/tour next month to show him 1717 Marketplace, Hope Valley, and the potential S. Main St. TIF area, and to meet with the developers of each site.
Wednesday through Friday were spent in budget meetings with department heads. As with last year, we continue to experience significant challenges in our general, health, and parks funds.
Next week I will have a better picture of where we stand, and I will send a memo to both council and employees to let everyone know where we stand.
On Friday, I met with the mayor, Senator Ron Richard, and Callie Hudson and Jerrod Hogan from DJA to discuss the Union Depot and explore possible funding sources for the rehab of the building. We will be doing some more research next week and reaching out to other individuals or groups as well.
At this time, all of the main Wayfinder signs have been installed. We also included signage at the Joplin Regional Airport to introduce our visitors to the program.
Next week, signage along the original Route 66 will start going up.
-From PW: Work continues on Main Street; the crew will continue working on the southbound lanes doing similar work that was accomplished on the NB side. Intersections are being skipped at this time as they will require a more intense level of effort, and will likely be done at night time.
-The annual microsurfacing and overlay contracts have been let and preconstruction meetings are being scheduled.
-The work on the Zora widening project from Main to Range Line is underway; ATT has been working to bury their lines, and Empire may be out next week to begin relocating the electric.
-The state-funded infrastructure projects are nearing completion with the exception of the regional detention basin between 32nd and 28th west of Arizona. Property acquisition issues have delayed this project and the construction will be rescheduled. Surrounding property owners were notified of the status and issues this week.
-A large number of stormwater projects are in the works as well; the impact of these projects should lessen the adverse impacts of localized flooding in many areas of the city.
-After months of work, the employee manual review committee has finished a first draft of our updated policies and procedures manual. As far as next steps, I will be reviewing it along with department heads and our legal department before we send it to the personnel board for review and recommendation for your approval.
-We were notified earlier this week that the Certificate of Need issued to O’Reilly Development was terminated, which enables us to now send out the RFP for the senior housing project at 26th and McClelland. The RFP will be out by the end of next week.
-Finance staff has been working on an updated fee study to review all of our fees for services. Early next month finance will review the information with departments, prior to your review and discussion during our budget work sessions in September.
-The revised schedule for the Main Street TIF and CID has it ready to come to you on August 17th during our regular council meeting for consideration.
-We have received over 25 applications for the inaugural Citizens Academy, but we are keeping the application deadline open until August 3rd in the event that some of the early applicants cannot attend and decide to drop out. I have included funds in next year’s budget request to have a spring Academy as well, if demand continues to be high.
In the Pipeline
-You can expect an economic development update from President O’Brian at your August 3rd council meeting. I will work with Rob to get you the materials to review well in advance of the meeting.
-We are working with HUD and other federal partners to set up community roundtable discussion next month that would include local officials, nonprofit agencies, and business leaders. Last year HUD launched a Community Needs Assessment with the stated goals of strengthening HUD’s presence with stakeholders and communities, facilitating the exchange of ideas, and optimizing the leveraging of HUD and other federal resources between the federal, state and local levels. In June of 2014 they kicked off the initiative in Joplin by meeting with the mayor, Director Bolander, and staff to discuss the idea and hear our concerns regarding issues surrounding the use of –DR funds. Now that the plan has been approved and the projects set, they want to revisit Joplin again and work with us on broader initiatives. The meeting should take place next month. I will keep you posted.
-Kiwanis has asked if I could attend a meeting in August to give them an update on city projects and issues. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for August 18th . That should cover it for this week.