JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin city leaders are announcing new goals in the tornado recovery effort. It's about adding new businesses, new homes and even new residents. "Thrive in Five" is the name of a new city deadline focusing on growing Joplin by the fifth anniversary of the May 22, 2011 tornado.
"It will be the most glorious day in Joplin's history," said Dan Stanley, Connect 2 Culture.
City workers teamed up with community leaders to look at how far Joplin has come and what happens next, that includes Joplin's population.
"I think we're down approximately 4.1 percent," said Mark Rohr, Joplin City Manager.
Actually, a good thing according to Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr who says other cities have lost 35, even 45% of their population after a disaster. The goal now is to wipe out that loss by 2016.
"We'd like to be 50,151 at least. That was our last census count," said Rohr.
Rohr says 90% of businesses are back. 90% of housing is rebuilt or under permit, and city workers predict the JHAP Housing Program will give an added boost to home numbers.
"Assist people in down payment. Not only to provide those people that want houses that may be residing in the City of Joplin, but attract people to the community that have never lived in Joplin," said Rohr.
Dan Stanley with Connect 2 Culture highlighted potential plans for an amphitheater, visual arts center, performing arts center and a town green. He adds, it needs to be done in time for the fifth anniversary when the nation will check on Joplin's progress.
"To show the nation and the world what a city that is faith based and family oriented does to rebuild itself," said Stanley.
Fore more information about the Joplin Thrive in Five project, click here.
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