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Master redeveloper to update Joplin city council on progress - KOAM TV 7

Master redeveloper to update Joplin city council on progress

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A special meeting between Joplin's city council and workers of Wallace Bajjali, Joplin's master redeveloper, will be at Joplin's city hall.

Council members are looking for answers about the master redeveloper's future in Joplin.

Chairs in Joplin's city council chamber are empty right now, and so are some answers.

"Where we are.  How we're progressing," says Councilman Bill Scearce.

The city's master redeveloper was hired by Joplin in 2012.

"The public wants to know what's going on with a lot of these things," says Joplin Interim City Manager Sam Anselm.

Anselm became interim city manager after the former city manager, Mark Rohr, was fired by city council last week.  Details of the termination have not been released.  The city cited personnel matters.  But Councilman Scearce hopes a new administrator will bring more transparency, particularly when it comes to the city knowing about Wallace Bajjali's rebuilding progress.

"Mark was a little closed with sharing information, and we don't know what's out there," says Scearce.

Councilman Scearce wants to know if a few of Wallace Bajjali's projects are even feasible.

"I have asked a local real estate company to get for me the amount of empty spaces that are in Joplin right now.  So far, they are up to over 250 thousand square feet of empty retail, commercial, and office space.  We do not gain anything when we steal a business from some place else to go into one of these retail places that Wallace Bajjali might build," says Scearce.

Though there are questions for Wallace Bajjali, there's still support from city council towards the master redeveloper.  Councilman Scearce says the majority of council members don't regret entering into an agreement with Wallace Bajjali.

Part of tonight's city council meeting is open to the public and will begin at 5:45 PM.

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