Springfield’s strengths and weaknesses highlighted in new community report

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The 2019 Community Focus Report, a list of Springfield’s merits and faults, was recently obtained by Ozarks First.

This year, some of the primary highlights (or “blue ribbons” as they’re called in the report) include:

  • The passing of Proposition S, a 2019 ballot issue that will eventually provide $168 million to the Springfield Public Schools system.
  • Major redevelopment in parts of the city other than downtown, specifically in places like Commercial Street and Galloway Village.
  • A steadily decreasing unemployment rate.

Some of the places the city falls short, according to the focus report, include:

  • Decreasing population growth, a factor the report claims could have “long-term implications for economic development”.
  • Increasing poverty. The report says about 19.4% of households with children under 18 in Springfield meet the federal poverty level.
  • Increasing housing costs, a “burden” to 50% of local renters and 29% of homeowners, according to the report.

The report also mentions issues with local voter participation, kindergarten readiness, graduation rates, and college readiness.

A growing arts community and a commitment to natural spaces like trails and parks are other blue ribbons mentioned in the report.

The 2019 report was produced by the Junior League of Springfield, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield Greene County Library District, and United Way of the Ozarks.

On Thursday, October 10th, the report is scheduled to be released to the public. The event is to be held at the Springfield Art Museum Auditorium at 1111 E. Brookside Drive.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins one hour later.

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