Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Joplin city manager provides weekly update

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

Key Meetings

-On Monday, Dr. Paula Gregory from KCUMB stopped by city hall for a meet and greet as she gets acquainted with Joplin. Mayor Pro-Tem Stanley, Chief Stewart, and others were in attendance along with other representatives from the medical school. The university is excited to get started here in Joplin and they are bringing an excellent team on board to hit the ground running.

- Later that morning, I attended the monthly Chamber of Commerce board of directors meeting. The co-chair of the Sales Tax Task Force gave an overview of the August ballot issue where we will ask voters to continue the collection of sales tax on titled equipment that is purchased out of state. The board of directors voted to support the continuation of the sales tax and to activate their committee to raise funds for the effort. As you know, cities cannot advocate for or against any ballot issues, we can only educate. We have asked outside legal counsel to review our educational materials to ensure they remain in compliance with the law, but once approved, you and residents will begin to see this issue being discussed. If you have any questions, please let me know.

-On Tuesday, Chief Furgerson and I visited five of the six fire stations (one had to respond to a call just as we arrived) to meet with Shift C personnel. I answered questions on a number of topics including budget, pay raises, our TIF districts, and the economic outlook of our community with the pending arrival of the medical school, Owens Corning, etc.

-On Wednesday, Chamber President Rob O’Brian and I toured the new Advanced Training and Technical Center to view the progress of construction on the renovation of the facility. We also discussed ongoing and potential economic development projects.

 On Friday, I met with Downtown Joplin president Lori Haun and executive director Callie Hudson to discuss DJ activities, placemaking opportunities to grow our community, and what role the city and other organizations can/should play in those efforts.


-Last week I mentioned that the ordinance to update the fees at Memorial Hall would be on your agenda for Tuesday. That will not happen, because we are going through some last minute edits and discussion about whether and how fees could be waived in certain circumstances. As soon as we can bring an ordinance to you for consideration, we will do so.

-The fall session of the Citizens Police Academy will begin on August 11th . If you are available and would like to participate in the class, we encourage you to do so. If you are interested, I can forward the session schedule to you, just let me know.

-We discovered this week that last weekend’s storms resulted in lightning damage to the irrigation controller at the golf course, several solenoids, and the main phone line at the athletic complex. The estimated cost to replace the controller and solenoids is over $13,000. Parks is working with finance staff to replace the system as soon as possible, otherwise the course will start to burn as a result of the high temperatures.

-As part of our ongoing efforts to improve safety for our employees, staff in the human resources department have recommended a safety footwear program for field personnel. The projected cost for the program is around $25,000, but we had one foot injury in 2015 that resulted in a claim of over $150,000, so I feel a proactive footwear program will serve the best interest of our employees. The cost will be included in next year’s budget.

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