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Duquesne, Missouri Rebounding After 2011 Tornado

DUQUESNE, Mo. -- The people of Duquesne, Missouri are seeing more new businesses open up as city staff continue tornado recovery efforts.
DUQUESNE, Mo. -- The people of Duquesne, Missouri are seeing more new businesses open up as city staff continue tornado recovery efforts.
City officials and shop owners say this is a positive thing for the city.

More than 10 businesses have opened in Duquesne since January 1st of this year.
City officials say they're looking to draw in more residents by adding new shops and restaurants to the area.

Karen's Dance Studio has been in Joplin since 1971. "Part of our property is in Joplin and part of our property is in Duquesne," explains studio owner Nichole Druin Amayo.

After the 2011 tornado destroyed the previous location on 20th Street, Amayo decided expanding east was the right choice.
"It's centrally located and it's great and there's all kinds of other businesses. Our family's can run to Wal-Mart while our kids are in dance classes. It just makes things really easy," Amayo says.

The studio is one of more the ten new businesses opening up in the city.

"We have a Dollar General Store off of 7th Street that's just breaking ground. Hot Rodz Grill just opened where Gooch Brother's used to be, that's now on 20th street. So a lot of great things happening," notes David Weaver, assistant to Duquesne's mayor.

City staff members are also looking to expand the city by looking beyond commercial properties.
"We still have about 80 lots that are still looking for home bidders. We have about $400,000 left in grant money for those that qualify to help build a house," Weaver says.  "You can get a grant for up to $50,000 so if you're interested in that, come see us."

And as the city continues to grow, business owners who come to the area are thankful for the chance to strengthen their companies.
"Our dance family has space to breathe and move now. It's pretty fun to see all of our kids come in the new building and they have space to run and dance and have a good time," says Amayo.

City leaders say as Dduquesne grows, there's also a need to improve its roads.
They're hoping to qualify for a community block development grant to make those improvements.

Some residents could receive a survey over the next 6 weeks that will help city leaders determine if they meet the requirements for the funding.


(story contributed by KODE/KSN, Joplin, MO)

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