JOPLIN, Mo. –Joplin City Council is hosting a work session today. Part of the agenda includes presenting a list of action plans for the city. In this meeting, city staff will be sharing their goals for Joplin as well as discussing how to achieve them.
Joplin city manager, Nick Edwards, says this meeting is just the first step in creating change in the community.
“I expect it to be a multi-step process, where we continue to refine these plans, and hopefully can come up with and finalize the plans that we think will most benefit the city of Joplin.”
He believes the list of six goals all work with one another.
“All the goals are interconnected together, and what it really speaks to is a quality of place spot, and so there’s things we need to do here at the city of Joplin to include the quality of place. And you can improve the quality of place in many different ways.”
The ways or action plans include addressing declining neighborhoods, homelessness, increasing economic opportunities, reducing crime, and improving city service levels.
No vote will take place tonight, but the mayor and council will be asked their opinions on each proposed plan.
“I will ask the mayor and council to at least let us know of the plans they like or don’t like so that we can continue to refine those and hopefully finalize them sometime in the summer,” Nick says.
Nick says while they could do nothing, he knows the community wants more.
“But I don’t think that the community wants to continue down that path. I think there’s a desire for some improvements, with those improvements there does come cost and that does require additional funding.”
A majority of their funding could possibly have to come from taxpayer’s dollars, but taxpayers would have to be willing to fund it.
“Our primary source of funding is through the taxpayer, potential funding could come in the form of new taxes, but that’s not necessarily has to be the case, we don’t have to seek out these improvements, we can continue the status quo but I do think there is support for better service to the community,” Nick says.
Now, they will discuss with the community, council, and mayor.
“Again this is us, sharing with the council, our plans or our ideas to help them resolve their six goals or priorities, some we can do at no cost, some require a cost but council will have that information going into tonight.”
Once they know what goals the public supports, the city council will focus on how to get them funded.
Also at Monday night’s Joplin City Council work session, the Joplin Chamber of Commerce and Missouri Southern State University presented their plans for Project Launchpad.
Project Launchpad is a proposal that would turn the old library into a business incubator. It would feature areas for entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. That includes three “culinary incubators” for budding restaurateurs.
It would also be what they’re calling the new “front door” for MSSU to engage businesses and prospective students.
“So it’s going to be really fun having high school students, college students in the business community. Actually being an active part of entrepreneurial eco-system here in Joplin,” said Toby Teeter of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce.
Partial funding for the project would come through grants.