Joplin’s Convention & Visitors Bureau will receive a new website design for the what the city currently knows as VisitJoplinMO.com. Patrick Tuttle, director of the bureau, presented the council bill and stated that they would work with Tempest in providing the design-to-launch services and hosting for the website. Council passed this bill at their meeting Monday night, from first reading to second and third reading with a unanimous vote.
Tuttle presented that the new website design could take four or more months to launch, but that it is hoped to launch by December. He said a large factor in choosing Tempest to work with is cost, as they will host the site through 2024. The project will cost $59,000 for the design-to-launch services and an additional $3,600 for the following years that Tempest hosts the website, which breaks down to $1,200 per year.
Tuttle also presented a new Joplin branding under resolutions, that he said would get all of Joplin’s departments under one brand. Within the resolution included a branding guide that stated: “In order to bring unity to the City of Joplin, we have developed a set of guidelines to bring a cohesive look and brand to Joplin, Missouri. It is important to follow the guidelines set forth in this guide to maintain the integrity of the brand.”
After his presentation and discussion from council, providing both positive and negative feedback, council voted to table the resolution. This passed with a unanimous vote. With tabling the resolution, council directed staff to continue working on the branding and bring it back at a later meeting.
Ryan Talken, Joplin Health Department director, provided a health update regarding COVID-19 for the City of Joplin, saying that the “numbers are looking good.” Talken reported that as of Monday, March 15 there are 29 active cases of COVID-19 in Joplin and 127 deaths. He added that the seven-day average is 4.85 cases per day, as compared to the last time he reported to council when the average was 6.43 cases per day. Additionally, currently the positivity rate in Joplin is 2.99 per 100 persons.
Talken reported that the vaccine supply in Joplin, as well as statewide, continues to increase. He stated that they are continuing to watch how the COVID-19 variants affect the city’s caseloads. There have not been any variants reported and tested in Joplin, Talken reported.
As of Monday, March 15 the City of Joplin has advanced phases in the vaccination process and the city is now in Phase 1B—Tier 3. Talken said the large group included in this phase are those in education. He reported that 24.8 percent of the city has been vaccinated with at least one dose. For those wishing to receive their vaccine, Talken advised to watch the City of Joplin’s website and be in contact with hospitals and pharmacies in the city. He said the City of Joplin is likely to announce a vaccination clinic this week.
“We’re much better but not completely out of the woods yet,” Talken said.
Under citizen requests and petitions, Joseph Johnson spoke on behalf of the emergency preparedness for the homeless community, in regard to the recent hazardous weather of February. Johnson presented that he wants to create a more “cohesive” plan for this in the future, including cooling centers for warmer months. In order to complete this, Johnson discussed that a group has been formed to work toward this goal and they ask for support from council that they may help when the time comes. Johnson said their group plans to have “a lot of it completed by summer,” or at least “something” done by then, and their first step will be cooling centers. Council agreed to get the group in contact with those individuals in the city who may help their cause.
Lynn Onstot, City of Joplin’s public information officer, presented under communications that with spring around the corner, Joplin Parks and Recreation has multiple activities coming up. Parks and Recreation is also in the process of hiring more than 100 seasonal positions, which Onstot said to check the department’s website for more information. She reported that there are also city board and commissioner’s positions open that need filled. Lastly, she reminded the community that the city’s tree drop-off site will be open Saturday, March 20, and it will be open every third Saturday until October.
Joplin High School provided an update from a STUCCO representative on news in the school. The representative reported that they have continued holding their tutoring; they held parent teacher conferences virtually; they are still phasing into all students returning for in-person classes; and prom will take place this year on April 10, as opposed to last year’s which was canceled due to the pandemic.
Two council bills passed under emergency ordinances, one with a unanimous vote and the other with eight in favor and one abstention. An additional seven ordinances passed from first reading to second and third, all under unanimous votes.