JOPLIN, MO.(AP)-Dog parks, and more public transportation, those are among the ideas given at two public hearings on the future look of Joplin. Others suggested a shopping center and a memorial to the 159 people killed in the May 22nd tornado.
The meetings were conducted by the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team. The advisory team, which includes business leaders, officials from both Joplin and Duquesne and representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will consider the comments.
About 200 people attended one of the meetings on Tuesday. Suggestions included constructing neighborhoods in pods with a variety of housing types, walking trails and a shopping center. Green spaces or more neighborhood parks also were
suggested by several residents. Others wanted access to medical care on the north side of the city. Several people suggested that the school district built two high
schools to replace the one that was destroyed in the tornado and build storm-safe school buildings or buildings with storm shelters for 10 of the district’s buildings that were destroyed or damaged.
The Joplin Globe reports that residents will be then invited to a later meeting to discuss designating the top priorities, which will be relayed to city and school district officials. Officials say disagreements are likely and were evident when one person posted on a board that Joplin should look like itself again. But another person favored looking to other cities for ideas, saying it was Joplin’s chance to look to the future.
FEMA staff will organize the public comments and hold another public session in about three weeks to discuss them.