Proposal for new Joplin sports complex may have to be eliminated - KOAM TV 7

Proposal for new Joplin sports complex may have to be eliminated

A proposal to build a new sports complex in Joplin might have to be eliminated.  A presentation was made to Joplin's city council some time ago about the commons area that would include a swimming pool, arena, and other venues for athletic activities.

But the project would be funded by community development block grant funds, funds that would require 51% of Joplin residents who would use the commons area have low or moderate incomes.

At least one city council member, along with the city's interim city manager, doubt that requirement would be met, jeopardizing the project.

"My concern is that we have a lot of people thinking they are going to get something, that they're not going to get," says Councilman Bill Scearce.  "And it's false hope.  And it was presented to them by the former city manager, knowing that it probably wouldn't qualify."

"From a city's financial perspective, I don't want us to go too far down the road where we have to, where we build a $40 million facility, and then it comes back and we have to pay that back," says Interim City Manager Sam Anselm.  "HUD still hasn't said no, but they typically don't say no to a project that you present.  They let you have the discretion in terms of building something, and then it's only after the Office of Inspector General comes in and says, no you shouldn't have done it that way."

City officials are now looking at whether or not building a sports commons area into separate buildings would meet obligations of using community development block grant funds.
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