Tonight at Joplin’s council meeting

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Joplin city leaders approve quite a few issues at tonight’s council meeting.

Street improvements as well as a use tax on the August ballot were both discussed. But the evening started with a concerned citizen.

Joplin resident Ashley Raby says her house was broken into earlier this month, the thief taking more nearly eight thousand dollars worth of property, including an assault rifle. The suspect, Nicholas Cutbirth was arrested today in Carthage in a separate incident that included charges of receiving stolen property. Raby says the way the Joplin Police Department handles cases on the weekend allowed Cutbirth to go on this crime spree.

“The process and the staffing, if we don’t have the people on duty, on the weekend, what happens, nothing, everyone goes loose,” says Ashley Raby.

“It is an unfortunate situation for this citizen for them to go through this so many times however it is something that we’ve been looking into, we’ve served several search warrants at the suspects residence trying to get the issue resolved,” says Chief Matt Stewart.

Also on the agenda, amending the tax increment financing plan to allow 15th Street improvements near Range Line. The road that runs by the gas station and up to Walmart isn’t up to city code. City leaders will spend two million dollars to fix curbs and gutters and get the street to meet city specifications.

Leslie Haase Finance Director “The process we’ve been working on for quite a while um so it’s exciting tonight to actually officially amend the tif so the city can start to work on the improvements on 15th street.”

Work will start in 2019 and finish up in 2020.

A new use tax for the city of Joplin will be put before voters on the August 7th ballot. The use tax will apply to any good purchased outside of the city of Joplin for use inside the city. City leaders say this use tax will help keep local businesses in the area.

“Really important for our community in the fact that it levels the playing field, right now without the use tax our businesses are at a disadvantage,” says Leslie Haase.

Council also heard from the 6 candidates hoping to fill the vacant council seat. Each one was given five minutes to explain why they’d be the perfect fit. Council plans to announce who will take that position at a work session scheduled for Wednesday night. I’ll be at that meeting and will bring that information as soon as it’s released.

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