Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Joplin city manager provides weekly update
Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.
-On Wednesday, I met with Chamber President Rob O’Brian to discuss economic development projects and activity. We discussed retail efforts on Range Line and in downtown, and I got an update on the progress of the advanced training center. In other ED news, we were asked by the Economic Development Administration about potential opportunities using remaining funds from the library project for other projects in the community. We have identified two possible projects – the first being an extension of a sewer line and installing two lift stations between 32nd and 20th near Wildwood Business Park. The second would be an extension/enhancement of 26th Street out at Crossroads Industrial Park. The JRC is a co-applicant on the grant, so these projects will be discussed at next week’s JRC meeting.
-Last night, we had our first meeting of the Sales/Use Tax Citizens Task Force, to begin the process of discussing the sales tax on titled equipment issue, and the use tax issue. The meeting went well, and we have scheduled our next meeting for April 14th at 4:00 p.m. here at City Hall. The Task Force’s goal is to have a recommendation to you by the second meeting in May, to ensure that we meet the state deadline of May 24th to place the item(s) on the ballot, if that’s what the committee recommends.
-Earlier today I toured several projects with Public Works Director Nick Heatherly and Assistant Director Dan Salisbury. Work is gearing up on the Zora and St. Louis widening projects, while the widening of Maiden Lane is winding down. Consultants are also working on our application for TIGER funds that will focus on the 32nd Street corridor. The overpass project on 20th Street is also moving along at a steady pace. Several bids were opened this week on other projects that will come to the council for consideration in the near future.
-Next week I will be ready to share the results of the salary survey that my office has conducted over the past year. We are nearing completion on the financial analysis to give you some idea about what the cost would be, but my hope is to present a few options for discussion at a future work session. Several employees have indicated a strong interest in seeing the results of the survey, and while I am reluctant to present the results to them without having a concrete plan in place for how to pay for it, I will be sharing the information with employees as well.
-Staff in our parks department continues work on updating the fee schedule for Memorial Hall. Activity at the facility is picking up, so I commend the parks department staff for their efforts in bringing new life back to this historic building until a long-range plan for the building can be developed.
-Staff has been putting together information for the new council member orientation, and I have reached out to the new members to identify some dates that will work for them. As soon as a date is confirmed, I will extend an invitation to the entire council to attend. I am planning for the possibility of an all-day orientation at this point.
-The review of the state audit follow-up continues, and there have been a few changes to the status of some of the findings since the auditor’s office last met with us. The only remaining review is with Auditor Galloway herself, so we suspect the delivery of the follow-up report will take place soon. The report will be posted to their website, and we will receive notice before it is posted. You may have received a test email verifying your address, but it will go to current and incoming council members as well.
In the Pipeline
-As mentioned last week, the finance department has scheduled training sessions for employees and supervisors to receive training on our purchasing system as well as our policies and procedures, to address the audit finding pertaining to purchase orders. Training will take place from April 18th to the 20th .
-I will be out of the office May 4-6 attending the Missouri City/County Managers Association annual conference.