The city of Springfield is urging residents to give input on the city's rebuilding strategies in response to the June 1st tornadoes.
A series of public hearings are being held in Springfield in the coming months to develop strategies for rebuilding the hardest-hit areas of the city. Bobbie Hill is a principal consultant with Rebuild Springfield, a public-private partnership that hopes to come up with a master plan by the end of December.
"What we're trying to accomplish here is taking advantage of the energy that happens in such a tragic disaster where people have a strong sense of community and an urgent need to bring things back and to make people whole again and hopefully to make things better."
Hill and her team of urban planners have divided the Springfield neighborhoods affected by the tornado into three groups, and each will get its own development plan. Public meetings will be held in each of the three areas and a few city-wide meetings will also take place. Hill says people are welcome to raise any and all ideas about how they'd like to see Springfield neighborhoods rebuilt and improved.
"The main issues to be dealt with in transforming a city are usually not those that are caused by a disaster. That just brings you an opportunity to get people together."
The rebuilding effort is expected to cost more than $100 million, with the city receiving help from the state and from the federal government. A link to the public meeting schedule can be found here.