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Statement from Interim Joplin City Manager Sam Anselm - Statistics on Rebuilding following May 2011 disaster

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FROM THE CITY OF JOPLIN

June 13, 2014
Statement from Interim Joplin City Manager Sam Anselm
Re: Statistics on Rebuilding following May 2011 disaster

Yesterday, our Public Information Officer alerted me to some concerns that residents had about the accuracy or validity of the numbers the City has presented regarding the rebuilding progress of our community, as reported in a recent article in the Joplin Globe. It is important to note that the numbers we have presented in the past do not just represent the rebuilding efforts within the tornado area; instead, they reflect our recovery progress from a community perspective as a whole. This distinction is important because the City does not require residential occupancy permits, so the rebuilding figures and population estimates we have presented have always been a guesstimate using a combination of data points, including building permits issued by the City, the number of active water and electric meters provided to us by Missouri American and Empire District, and various housing studies that have been conducted.

In response to the concerns raised however, we will be taking a closer look at the rebuilding data to ensure that the information we convey is clearer, more concise, and more accurate in the future. This may take some time due to the amount of data to review, and I graciously ask for the public’s patience with this process. As a resident, business owner, volunteer or visitor to our community, you have my assurance that we have a committed, hard-working staff that is focused not just on rebuilding the tornado-damaged area of our city, but in making the entire Joplin community a place we can all be proud of.

In closing, I want to thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of our community. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t care about what happens in our city, and I appreciate your efforts and commitment to Joplin. We have already demonstrated to the world what a united, focused group of people can achieve in the face of unprecedented challenges, and I hope that same spirit of cooperation continues long after our recovery is complete.

Respectfully,
Sam Anselm
Interim City Manager

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