Joplin City Council Reviews Budget Spending Plan

Joplin City Council Reviews Budget Spending Plan

The budget includes several projects with funding from almost 200 million dollars in federal grants.
JOPLIN, MO.--- "I believe this is the largest budget in the City of Joplin's history," said Leslie Haase, Joplin Finance Director.

For two hours, Joplin City Council members combed through a 400 page budget proposal.

"It's artificially high because of the federal aid the city is receiving. Mainly, CDBG funding that is coming our way, we received two rounds of funding. One about 44.3 million dollars and the second was about 113.4 million," said Mark Rohr, Joplin City Manager.

The projects include a $29 million expansion of the Shoal Creek Wastewater Plant, repairs to damage to storm water systems caused by the 2011 tornado, construction of the 20th Street train overpass, all benefitting from federal funding.

"It's an important resource, probably once in a lifetime resource, and we need to make good use of it," said Rohr. 

There's also a $3 million public safety training center. City Manager Mark Rohr believes these projects will help the city achieve one of its top goals- rebuilding the population.

"Our population loss is in the 4.6-4.7 range," said Rohr.

"We have a lot of work to do in the next several years, and so I anticipate our budgets will be large to get these projects done over the next several years," Haase.

The city council will continue working on the budget tomorrow evening. At that time, council members will consider funding requests from various entities. The highest is a $300,000 request by the Chamber of Commerce for the Regional Prosperity Initiative.

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