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Joplin City Council votes to postpone Project Launchpad until a new Chamber of Commerce president is elected

JOPLIN, Mo. — Back to tonight’s city council meeting in Joplin. The decision has been made to postpone a major project.

Tonight, Joplin City Council approved an emergency ordinance to temporarily halt the project. The city will now be removing it from the April 5th, 2022 ballot.

“It’s certainly an economic development tool for us. But the timing with all that’s going on in the community wasn’t right. And the partners wanted to make sure whatever is proposed to the public that there’s the ability to execute and deliver on those commitments,” said Nick Edwards, Joplin City Manager.

Tonight, Joplin City Council approved removing Project Launchpad off the April 5th 2022 ballot. The project is a collaboration between Missouri Southern and the Joplin Chamber of Commerce. The committee working on it wanted to wait until there was a new Chamber president in place.

“For those that are really excited about Project Launchpad, you can understand the frustration from those who see this as an economic development tool. That can help our existing businesses meet talent and grow and thrive and provide a safe space for new businesses to flourish,” said Edwards.

The program is going to move into the 48,000 square foot former downtown library on 4th and Main. Nick Edwards hopes it will be back on the ballot after a new Chamber president is selected and if there is council support.

“One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve heard in the community is that there’s a perception that there’s not an opportunity here to have great careers, and Project Launchpad is directly aimed at solving those problems and solving that perception,” said Edwards.

The Chamber says a hiring committee is still reviewing president applicants. A decision on Project Launchpad moving forward is expected to be made once a new president is chosen.

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