JOPLIN, MO.--- Four contracts were authorized tonight by the council for engineering services for the second round of funding for HUD, relating to the recovery zone. Public Works Director Nick Heatherly says these contracts are for curb and gutter, sidewalks, storm water and sanitary sewer work. This will fund the process of making the repairs and restoration improvements to those facilities within the recovery zone.
"This was the first $3.7 million coming in we got and authorization right now for about $8.6, and that's only a small fraction of the $113 million in change that is still to come," said Nick Heatherly, Joplin Public Works Director.
Also at the meeting, city leaders welcomed the new interim fire chief, Jim Furgerson. Furgerson took over as interim fire chief on August 1st, after Mitch Randles left Joplin for a fire chief position in another city. City leaders are still in the application process to fill the permanent position. Furgerson says it's big shoes to fill, but he's ready.
"It's going to be hard to fill his shoes. He did a great job leading us through the tornado and guiding us, and he has us set up really well for the future," said Jim Furgerson, Joplin Fire Chief.
Also, today marks exactly six months since former city manager, Mark Rohr, was fired. Mayor Mike Seibert says the city is in communication with the Mercer group, who was hired by the city to assist with the search process. Seibert says the firm is currently in the stage of gathering applications.
"Then they will bring forward names of qualified applicants, and then we will be inviting them in for personal interviews," said Mike Seibert, Joplin Mayor.
Seibert says he's hoping they will have the top city manager applicants by September or October. They plan on having a new city manager before the end of the year.
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