Monday, August 10, 2015
Joplin city manager provides weekly update
Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.
-On Tuesday, the CDBG-DR team and I met with representatives from Joplin Schools for a debrief and next steps discussion regarding the early childhood center project. Also present for the call was Andy Papen with the state’s CDBG office. They will be preparing a revised proposal for our review, and the school board will be making a decision at their next board meeting to determine a final location for the facility.
-On Wednesday, I attended a short ceremony where our police department presented Kenneth Turcotte, one of our mechanics, with an Exceptional Service Award for his efforts in helping them disassemble a confiscated vehicle so the PD could search for drugs.
-Later that morning I met with Director Garrie to discuss parks operations and plans for the future. We have advertised internally to fill the assistant parks director position, and depending on how the search goes, there may be additional opportunities within the parks department to improve operations. I will keep you posted.
-On Thursday, we had our second steering team meeting to discuss the potential collaboration effort between area non-profits as they continue to do the good work of serving our community. We’ve secured a list of over 600 non-profits working in Joplin and have developed a list of “focus teams” centered around various service areas/needs, such as education, human services, veterans, poverty, etc. Work will continue next month as the steering team further defines our goals for this effort and establishes criteria against which we can measure our success.
-Earlier this afternoon Director Tuttle and I met with representatives from the Joplin Memorial Marathon, which is being scheduled for next year in conjunction with the five-year anniversary of the tornado. This would be the first time a full marathon will be offered, and as you are aware, it takes a lot of work and coordination from our staff in public works, police, fire, CVB, etc. when events like this are held. Recognizing the benefit that these events have on our community, sometimes we forget about the associated costs or providing personnel to ensure the safety of participants, traffic control, etc. We are putting some numbers together to determine just how much it costs our taxpayers to provide city staff at these events, but we will be looking at creative ways to work with this and other groups to minimize costs and still make these events available for all to enjoy.
-The 2015 Leadership Joplin class has sponsored a mural for Joe Becker Stadium. Earlier this week, AtCM Kelly met with parks staff to review potential locations for the mural, and one possible location is on the west/third base side of the stadium facing towards High Avenue. I’ve seen the final rendering and it is quite impressive, and plans are to hopefully have it installed by the end of the regular season, just in time for the playoffs (the Blasters are currently in the wild-card hunt).
-In case you receive concerns from residents, the hanging baskets placed at the corners on Main Street will be getting a trim this weekend in order to prevent the flowers from blocking the pedestrian walk/don’t walk signage.
-Yesterday staff met with the Solid Waste Commission to discuss the franchise solid waste Request for Proposal. We are still working on some of the language contained in the RFP, which will include several possible changes with the new contract. One such change would be offering curbside recycling on a voluntary basis for residents who would choose to participate. Once the RFP is in its final draft form, I will provide a summary of the differences so you can have a list of talking points to share with residents after the RFP is published. In the Pipeline
-At our meeting on August 17th, we will have the South Main TIF and CID agreements presented for your consideration. We have provided the agreements to the developer for one last review before adding these items to your agenda.
-We have asked the city clerk’s office to schedule a meeting during the last week of August for the Finance Committee to review the proposed fee changes for next year. During the week of the 17th our finance director will be meeting with departments and me to review them as well. You may recall that prior to 2011, we were on a schedule to review fees every other year. Since that time we have not adhered to that schedule, but we are back on track for this year and as we move into the future.