Springfield City Council Preview: Basketball & Extending A Calamity Declaration

The Springfield City Council meeting tonight will feature basketball, controversial zoning and the extension of a calamity declaration.

First, the Council is going to honor the Greenwood School Boys’ Basketball team on their state championship and Springfield Catholic for their run to the state finals. Coach Taylor and the Greenwood Blue Jays brought home the school’s first state title since 1942, while Catholic made their first return to the Final Four since 1984.

The Council will also likely have the final vote on a zoning change in West Springfield for a former trailer park next to Menards. The changes will allow for the development of a residential complex on the site.

The meeting will also have a vote on a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson to extend the city’s declaration of an economic and housing access calamity for Springfield.

The resolution outlines Springfield’s problem with poverty. The statewide poverty level is 14.6 percent while in Springfield the poverty level is 25.7 percent (according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey’s 5-year profile.)

Under the resolution, “Individuals, agencies, or churches that can meet building, safety, and health codes may establish facilities during the duration of this calamity to provide food and lodging to the unemployed and working poor who are without a permanent residence or dwelling and shall not be considered “shelters” as that term is defined in Section 36-321 of the City Code of Springfield, Missouri.”

The extension of the resolution would extend until March 31, 2021 or until the city’s “individuals below poverty level” falls below the state level.

Citizens can comment on that resolution before a potential Council vote.

The full agenda can be read here. OI will have live blog coverage beginning around 6:30 p.m..