Joplin City Manger, Nick Edwards, discusses a public safety funding needs plan with the City Council.

JOPLIN, Mo. — A plan was presented at tonight’s (5/2) Joplin City Council meeting that highlighted the public safety needs of Joplin and how to pay for those needs.

Joplin City Manager, Nick Edwards, presented the plan which takes a closer look at staffing issues and pay for Joplin police, firefighters and dispatchers.

The plan, which took several months to put together, includes pay raises of at least 10%, and adjusting scheduling and retirement policies.

The price tag of this public safety funding needs plan: $8.7 million.

Currently, the City of Joplin has an estimated $350,000 to contribute, leaving a funding gap of nearly $8.4 million.

Possible funding sources would include the new city use tax, or a property tax increase that would more than triple the current rate, which stands at $0.42.

At tonight’s meeting, several members of the Joplin City Council spoke in regards to the public safety funding needs plan:

  • Kate Spencer – “We need it, we’ve needed it for years and years… it’s almost an emergency at this point.”
  • Phil Stinnett – “We don’t have a plan ‘B.’ This is the only proposal we have. We need to have a plan ‘B’ before we even take this to the voters. We’re talking about one of the largest tax increases in city history.”
  • Josh DeTar – “We’ve kicked this down the road long enough, and now it’s here and it’s something we have to address now.”

At tonight’s Joplin City Council meeting, all members decided that more time is required to examine the proposed plan.

They’ll discuss it further during a work session on Monday, May 9th.