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Joplin City Council Continues Discussion on ARPA Funds

Communities large and small throughout the US have until Dec. 31 2024 to obligate funds to projects. Construction on those projects must be underway by the end of 2026.

The COVID-19 pandemic has come and gone but many communities including Joplin are still working on what to do with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Missouri’s cut of the overall 1.9 trillion in ARPA money was 2.8 billion dollars, of which Joplin received 13.8 million dollars.

The deadline for ARPA funding to be obligated to projects is December 31 of next year, with 100% of funds spent by the end of 2026.

The Joplin City Council held a work session Monday night to discuss the reprioritization of 26 projects that can be completed with partial or full ARPA allocations.

Everything from the construction of the Tin Cup Trail Bridge to the widening of 20th street and SMART traffic signals in downtown Joplin which alone would cost 5.7 million dollars.

Councilmember Chuck Coople voiced concern about the possible disparities in communication council members received as opposed to city staff about possible projects.

“It really kind of surprised me seeing the slide that showed the downtown SMART technology traffic signals with an estimated match requirement of only $300,000. Had I known that potential was there when I was voting on things I think it would have probably scored much higher.”

The importance of the 26 projects was voted on by city staff and council members with the Tin Cup Trail Bridge coming in first with a score of 354, 12 was points ahead of Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair and Replacement.

No decisions or vote were made, discussions will continue at the subsequent council meeting next Monday.

For 89 9 KRPS News, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.