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What will Joplin and Duquesne look like in 5 years?

A team of volunteers is asking the public how they want Joplin to look in five years, hoping to get answers and ideas from everyone.

The Citizens Advisory Recovery Team hosted meetings on Tuesday.  More than 100 people attended the first meeting on Tuesday afternoon, eager to express their ideas.

Hundreds of Post-It notes lined bulletin boards inside Memorial Middle School’s gymnasium.  The notes had suggestions from citizens on how to rebuild Joplin and Duquesne.

The city says many of the suggestions were generated through a KOAM and Fox 14 Facebook discussion.

“We get a lot of our ideas by closing our mouths and opening our ears and listening to people and we hope to get a lot of good ideas as a result of the public input process,” says Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr.

Just some of the ideas so far:

  • more parks and open space
  • underground power lines
  • installing more sidewalks
  • widen major thoroughfares like 20th and 26th Streets
  • sustainability and tax incentives for residents who go green
  • build two separate high schools

The public is split on whether Joplin should build two separate high schools as it once had prior to 1985.

Joplin resident Creed Jones opposes the idea.

“I know a lot of people are longing back to the days when there were two high schools in Joplin, and personally while I understand and respect that, I fell that would be a step backwards,” Jones says.  “This is a time when we need to unite the community and in my opinion (that) might provide more of a divide.”

Officials say the two meetings held Tuesday are for brainstorming purposes.  Some of these ideas will become reality as the planning process continues.

Overall, residents say they believe city officials are genuine in using their ideas to shape Joplin and Duquesne’s future.

“The city management has been doing an amazing job, the city planners, and I think it’s awesome that they are letting the public have an input, have a say on what the future of Joplin is going to be like,” says resident Sheila Bentlage.


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