Wednesday, July 27, 2016

FEMA rejects Joplin R-8 requests for reimbursement, millions at stake

FEMA has rejected the Joplin R-8 School District's requests for reimbursement for work done on the East Middle School building twice and has rejected the request for millions in money for "errors and omissions" once.

Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting was the first time district officials have acknowledged publicly that the federal agency is not seeing eye to eye with them on what expenses taxpayers should be expected to reimburse.

CFO Paul Barr said the district filed "a second appeal" to FEMA on the East project and in response to a question from board member Debbie Fort said the initial request for reimbursement on millions of dollars in "errors and omissions" had also been turned down.

The district's budget and its balances have been based on the money Barr has indicated month after month would be headed this way.

"Errors and omissions" is a phrase that includes items that were not originally in the plans district officials submitted to FEMA, including what Barr termed in a 2014 board meeting as "might-as-well spending," which he defined as spending that takes place because the district wanted to do it at some point and it "might as well" do it now.

Barr's reference was to items that had been added at Joplin High School, including extra tennis courts, artificial turf and lighting for all fields and practice fields, and a track at the high school, all items that had not been included in the original plans.

The documentation provided to the board Tuesday night did not include any information about exactly how much money the district is hoping to receive, but documentation provided for the March meeting indicated that the district had received $11.4 million at that time with an additional $17.1 million that has still not been paid. That amount included $207,708 for the East Middle School'Soaring Heights grounds.The documentation made no mention of which of the remaining $16.9 million falls into the "errors and omissions" category.


Anonymous said...

How does Paul Barr have a job? We are so screwed!

Anonymous said...

But Huff said it was a sure thing. You don't suppose he lied to us, do you?

Anonymous said...

At what point is Paul Barr going to come clean to the BoE, the community, and the staff about how much money the district is going to have to cover for the might-as-well projects and other rejected items? Sooner or later it must be just stated, along with a plan. Is the state going to have to take over? Is the public going to have to pony up more funds? Is CJ going to get to escape the forks and lanterns? It's time to end this cliffhanger.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you haven't been covering this debacle.

The R-8 budget isn't built on a strong foundation?

The Glub has been on top of it from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

I see what you did there!

Anonymous said...

And this is a surprise to anyone? Seriously? You cannot expect the government to reimburse you for extravagant things that the board wanted. There was NO NEED for the "might as well" list that added to the education of the students. I feel sorry for the taxpayers of Joplin as once again they are going to be stuck with a bill and a school district that could very well be on the verge of bankruptcy. Sad that all taxpayers will be saddled with this mess when it should only be those that created this mess.

Anonymous said...


Looming on the horizon?

"it's time for me to step aside based on two primary factors. First, I love my family dearly and have missed them greatly. They miss me too. It’s time to be a dad and husband again. Second, I’ve had many opportunities in recent months..."

Anonymous said...

Can't a sunshine law request be made for supporting documnetation?

Anonymous said...

No shock here. So glad we don't live anywhere near this district now.

Yup. said...

Not to worry. All we have to do is pay a new super 250 a year, give CJ a cool million for consulting, turn Johnson loose to rack up some more lawsuits, hire a full time communications defense specialist to banter with Turner on his blog, and cut wages. Hey..might as well.

Anonymous said...

It's been awhile since we waded into this muddy water, but weren't those loans somehow tangled up with FEMA? Where do we stand on those, I wonder. Especially since they put the high school up for collateral.

Anonymous said...

I hope the board doesn't think they can get more money from taxpayers. Even though it wasn't the current board that did all this, they and the kids will take the brunt. No one is going to give them more money. In fact, some of us are trying to move so our money doesn't go into all that corruption any more.
Such a ridiculously sad situation.

Dusty Roads said...

Barr is not much of a financial adviser or he would not be working for the school district...a good friend makes 300,000 a year with Edward Jones...Barr could not cut it

I am a robot. said...

He is in it for the kids.
No, really
Stop laughing.
It's not funny...He really cares.
Fine. Laugh it up.
It would serve you ingrates right if he did go to the private sector.
He could.. if he really wanted to.
Ok, now you're just laughing to be mean.