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Council, City Officials, and Public to Continue New Justice Center in Joplin Tonight

Regardless of which option is selected, the construction will continue to reshape downtown Joplin with the addition of a new fire station on the north side. In addition to the 2022 opening of the Cornell Complex on the southside of downtown Joplin and the refurbishment of the former location of Pearl Brother’s Hardware on Main St.

What will the future ofJoplin’s Justice Center look like? Tonight, we’ll get an update at a special meeting of the Joplin city council.

The new Justice Center is estimated to cost between 30 and 60 million dollars depending on whether city officials choose to renovate the currency facility or construct new buildings.

While council members and city staff will speak and debate what should be included and how large the Justice Center should be there will likely be considerable discussion about how to pay for it.

According to a 46-page presentation on the city’s website, officials outline two primary funding sources, issuing long-term debt, or issuing another ½ center Captain Improvement Sales Tax, at a time that the city is currently collecting a ⅜ CIS tax.

The city outlines five possible payment options, all requiring voter approval. One feature of all five of the proposed plans is that the justice center would take at least two decades to pay off. The two construction projects that will be discussed tonight both contain a new downtown fire station, with one including renovations to the police department and building additions to the court building.

Another includes a completely new justice center for all three departments. This is during a transitional time for Joplin PD, the department's new chief of police starts next month.

The special session of the Joplin city council gets underway tonight at 5:45.

Copyright 2023 Four States Public Radio. To see more, visit Four States Public Radio.

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.