Monday, July 27, 2015
Joplin City Manager provides weekly update
Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for a list of this week’s happenings. As usual, let me know if you have any questions.
-Monday, Interim Director Scott Garrie and I met with Cookie Estrada from the Joplin Family Y to touch base on some of their plans and initiatives, and to get an update on what we have going on.
-On Monday afternoon, Director Haase and I met with representatives from the Redings Mill Fire District to discuss recent payments to the district. We will be working with Newton County officials to make sure that land transactions are recorded in the tax books in a timely fashion to allow us to remit payment to the district around the first of each calendar year.
-On Tuesday the Infrastructure Team (Deloitte and city staff tasked with overseeing the CDBG-DR infrastructure projects) met with the JET group to review their list of projects in the recovery area. All three engineering firms have submitted their projects for prioritization by staff, and we have scheduled a meeting for the week of August 3rd to finalize the list for inclusion with a future action plan.
-On Wednesday morning I met with Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder so we could make introductions and help his transition to Joplin go as smoothly as possible. We discussed the early childhood center project, as well as other projects in the works that affect the school district.
-Following my meeting with Dr. Ridder, I met with Brad Belk to discuss a variety of topics related to the museum.
-On Wednesday afternoon I had a meeting with Sharon Beshore and Clifford Wert to discuss the status of Memorial Hall and to get an update on where the Connect2Culture group stands with regard to their architectural plans for the facility. Now that we have booked two events at Memorial Hall they were somewhat concerned about the availability of the venue for their desired purposes, but I believe there’s time and room to utilize the facility until a long term plan can be developed, and if there’s an opportunity to bring multiple groups together for the shared purpose of growing our arts, culture and entertainment footprint in Joplin, that is something that should be explored.
-I followed that meeting by attending the Connect2Culture board meeting later in the afternoon, where I expressed the same opinion. Ultimately what happens to Memorial Hall will be up to the city council to decide, but there seems to be some positive energy and discussion taking place within the community, so I’m excited to see where that momentum takes us.
-Yesterday (Thursday) Mayor Seibert, PIO Lynn Onstot and I met with representatives from Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri to get an update on where they stand with efforts and initiatives in Joplin, and to discuss an exciting grant opportunity they have that will benefit area residents. CCSOMO will be putting out a press release with additional details, so I do not want to steal any of their thunder, but the meeting served as a reminder that work still continues regarding our recovery from 2011.
-Earlier this morning, (Friday) I met with Councilman Stanley, Mayor Seibert, City Attorney Edwards and a local developer to discuss an affordable multi-family housing project that would utilize the MHDC’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. You may recall that in 2011 Joplin was the recipient of most of the LIHTC program funding to assist with our housing recovery efforts post-tornado, and this developer wanted to visit with us to share details of the project. Next week, I will have our planning staff review the information for a response to the developer as he applies for the funding. Miscellaneous
-As indicated last week, the RFP for the affordable senior housing development is online on our website (link: http://joplinmo.org/bids.aspx?bidID=254). We have reached out to several interested developers, and an ad will also run in this weekend’s edition of the Globe. Responses will be due to the city on November 24th to allow plenty of time for potential respondents to conduct a housing study, prepare materials, and ask questions of staff. Speaking for them, we are certainly excited to finally be at this stage.
-To give you an update on online payments…they account for about 33% of all payments made through our courts system. As for utility bills, monthly totals hover around the 2,000 mark, which represents about 10% of all payments made on a monthly basis, give or take.
-I was notified earlier today that Greentown Joplin is transitioning out of Joplin after four years of assistance and support to our community. I have attached their final report for your review, but please join me in wishing Catherine Hart and her colleagues a heart-felt thank you for their efforts.
-On a similar note, I’m attaching a copy of the letter that Mayor Seibert sent to Staff Sergeant Brendan Brustad, who you will recall ran 161 miles in remembrance of those we lost as a result of May 22, 2011. In the Pipeline
-Just a reminder that staff and I will be at the Joplin Schools board meeting on Tuesday night to provide information and answer any questions from the board or staff about the project.