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State Funds for Joplin Tornado Recovery Projects Extended One Ye - KOAM TV 7

State Funds for Joplin Tornado Recovery Projects Extended One Year

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Joplin, MO -    Governor Jay Nixon signs legislation extended Joplin's tornado appropriation for another year.

It's extra time for the city to complete projects using fourteen million dollars  in state grant money in the tornado zone. The extension has city officials breathing a sigh of relief.

Project include crews putting in sidewalks in numerous locations including 15th street and 26th streets, and at the south and east edges of the tornado zone. Sewer line work is also underway along with resurfacing streets.

The city was under  the gun to get work completed by June 30th. But now gets another year.

City engineer Dan Johnson says, "It's fantastic. Great news for me. We were really running up against the deadline on several of these projects. "

City manager Sam Anselm says, "Knowing that those dollars are going to be available to pay those contractors will help. Because otherwise, had that deadline stayed in place, we would be looking at using city local dollars to  fund and complete those projects. And those weren't in our budget."

 Its funding needed for an area of the city that was hurt by the tornado but doesn't qualify for community development block grant monies because of income levels.

Johnson says, “With all the large equipment moving around, we had damage to storm sewers. Inlets were often crushed or broken."

The grant allows not just for replacing but improving infrastructure.

Johnson says, "We're able to take opportunity to build to modern standards, a ten year level of service and provide for that neighborhood.

So you'll see less flooding in that neighborhood."

Truck damaged streets are being resurfaced. About twelve and a half million dollars of the money allocated in 2013 had yet to be tapped even though work was underway.

Anselm says, "You go through the design process, the bid process, the awarding of the bid and you know the construction is the easy part."

Johnson says, "Some required a lot of property acquisition and you can't do that quickly so working through that process takes time."

In several areas, projects have taking longer to complete because of utility work going on at the same time.

Johnson says, "When we started this work it was winter time and that is not a time when you can cut off people from their gas.  So there  was a high pressure gas main that really couldn't be worked on until April, very close to when our deadline was."

Now that deadline is June 2016.

Sixteen projects are funded under the state grant that was extended.

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