Monday, September 28, 2015

Joplin city manager provides weekly update

(City Manager Sam Anselm provided the following report to the Joplin City Council Friday.)

Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.

Key Meetings 

-On Monday, Chief Furgerson and I met to discuss the ISO report, a copy of which is attached for your review. I’m happy to report that our ISO rating remained a 3, which is good for our residents’ insurance rates. We have begun discussions about what steps can be taken to raise our ISO rating to a 2, which would have additional savings for residents resulting in lower insurance rates, but the key driver of improving our rating will be the opening of our Public Safety Training Center, which will allow our firefighters to have “live fire” training exercises. According to Chief Furgerson, that training needs to take place for about a year before we can include it for a possible rating increase.

-On Tuesday, I attended the quarterly meeting of the Circles Big View team. One of the items they discussed was working with the Circles participants on how to address the city council. The group would like to invite some of you to a future meeting to discuss this, as well as discuss how they can get involved in various boards and commissions. As a date for that meeting is finalized, I will send out a notice for any of you to join us.

-On Wednesday morning, I attended the kick-off meeting of the Health Focus Team, which consists of several representatives of local non-profit agencies that have come together to discuss the One Joplin non-profit collaborative effort. You will recall that I serve on the steering team for this endeavor. This week was the kick-off of the three focus areas – health, human services, and poverty/homelessness. Focus team members for each of the three areas are going through team training and development and beginning discussions on how to work together as a non-profit community to affect change.

-To round out the day on Wednesday, I met with the infrastructure team to discuss the integration of FEMA-funded improvement projects to coincide with the CDBG-DR funded projects in the recovery area. FEMA has approved $3 million towards repairs of infrastructure, but to utilize these funds we will need to ask for an extension. Future meeting with HUD/FEMA reps to discuss our plan and timeline for approval.

-On Thursday morning, Neighborhood Services Supervisor Stephen Grindle and I attended the #loveyourcity meeting. An update on this weekend’s Great Day of Service was provided, along with a discussion of other events happening within the community over the next few weeks. As part of the Great Day of Service, a group of volunteers will be working downtown on a number of projects, including sprucing up the flower beds around various parking lots, sweeping up broken glass, etc. There are approximately 20 groups that will be serving in and around the Joplin area this year.

-After that meeting, I had a discussion with Callie Hudson from DJA to give an update on the downtown parking idea. Depending on the process that is used to fill the vacant council seat, if there is a work session that is called to discuss that, I would like to add downtown parking as an item to that work session agenda so we can discuss this as a group. If no work session is held, I would look to have a discussion during the second regular meeting in October.

-On Thursday afternoon, met with neighborhood services staff to talk about ideas and ways to promote the work happening in that division, including an increased presence on our website, ways to get better utilization of the Tool Lending Library, etc.

-Later that afternoon, Director Bolander, Assistant Director Robyn, Director Allgood and I had a conference call with EDA to talk about the closeout of the disaster recovery grant we held in conjunction with the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council. A new staff member at the EDA was brought in to close out the grant, and she had some questions about the recent finding in the audit pertaining to the disaster recovery coordinator position. We will be resending the information they need to close out the grant. There are no other concerns on their end.


-The 2015/16 adopted budget was sent to the printer this week. Again, I’d like to thank you for your time during the budget work sessions. Regarding the priority based budgeting process, I reached out to Jon and Chris earlier this week to discuss next steps. Since they have donated the financial health diagnostic tool, we will continue to work with the CPBB to complete that component of the program, and once the contract is finally approved and signed, we will be working on beginning the program inventories. I anticipate having a call with them in the next couple of weeks to lay out a timeline and process for implementation.

-As I mentioned last week, the Main Street CID was rescheduled and held earlier this week. I’m including the notes from Finance Director Haase, who serves as the ex-officio on the board, for a recap of the meeting: “The South Main CID held their first meeting on September 23, 2015. Three of the five board members were present. The board took action on four resolutions. The first resolution was to elect the officers, adopt the by-laws and designate the custodian of records. The chairman will be Rodney Spriggs, the Vice-Chair will be Steve Wilcox, the Secretary/Treasurer will be Ken Caviness, the Assistant Secretary will be Sherry Spriggs, the Assistant Treasurer will be Deanna Caviness and the Executive Director will be Darrell Gross. The board then passed resolution 2015-02 which sets the election of the additional sales tax for December 8, 2015. If it passes, it will be effective on April 1, 2016. The only affected business at this time is the antique store. Next, the board passed resolution 2015-03, which adopted the budget for the 2015 fiscal year. The budget is zero. The CID fiscal year is the same as the city fiscal year. Last, the board passed resolution 2015-04, which approved the cooperative agreement. The next meeting will be after the CID sales tax election.”

-FD Cancer Awareness month – from Chief Furgerson  “October is cancer awareness month and we typically wear pink shirts in recognition of that month. This year the crews will be wearing black shirts with pink letters and logos. These shirts are being purchased by the firefighters themselves. This has been done the past several years and I wanted you to be aware in case you were asked. I will also be sending an order form tomorrow out all city employees in case any of them wish to purchase the shirts as all proceeds go to a cancer fund the union has established. The shirts will be available in black or pink.”

-This week, the first reimbursement request flagged in the audit report was sent to state for CDBG reimbursement. $2.6 million for the city’s expenditures towards debris removal and demolition. Proceeds will go back to the Transportation Sales Tax fund.

 In the Pipeline

-On October 9th, the Fire Department and the Employee United Way Committee are hosting the first Ham & Bean Feed since prior to 2011. You are invited to attend the event, which will be held at Memorial Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $5 per person, and we will have silent auction items available as well. We will send out a flyer for the event that you are welcome to pass along to others. The committee has issued a call for volunteers to help, so if you think that’s something you may be interested in, please contact me and I can get you additional information.

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