JOPLIN, MO.--- "I am elated for the City of Joplin. This is a catalyst, a springboard of sorts to get the projects going," states Bill Scearce, Councilman.
The creation of the new tax district known as the Tax Increment Financing District, or 'TIF", passed today with Joplin City Council members voting 7 in favor and 2 against.
"This is going to be one of the things that sets Joplin apart," states Scearce.
The TIF district will be 3,000 acres and will encompass the tornado zone as well as part of downtown Joplin. Sales taxes and future increases in property taxes within the TIF district will fund redevelopment projects, including a new library and theater. Not everyone was excited about the issue passing.
"Many of these projects will take money generated from the tornado zone and spend it in areas that are not in the tornado zone," states Scearce.
Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean says this is all about transforming Joplin into a more lively city, inside and out of the tornado zone.
"This is making the whole city seamlessly come together and for the projects to benefit the whole city. We don't want just a swath of new in Joplin, we want it to say, 'oh, everything connects now," states Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean, Joplin.
Some council members questioned the urgency about passing the measure but Mayor Colbert-Kean says it was necessary to pass it today.
"There are some projects that are depending on this passage and now that that's been they can go ahead and close those deals," states Mayor Colbert-Kean.
Tif commission chairman Doug Doll is optimistic the tif district will be successful.
"A lot of it is going to depend on the success and leadership of the master developer that was again a selection that we made doing extensive research and they certainly have a good track record," states Doug Doll, TIF Commission Chairman.
The TIF district will fund dozens of projects. That includes residential housing, retail and commercial. Members of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team have been working on plans for the city for months. The district will last 23 years but that time can be lowered, depending on how much progress has been made.