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Housing agency upholds wage waiver for Joplin

JoplinFlagUPIRickMeyer_0.jpg
(UPI/Rick Meyer)
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Some of the aftermath following the devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo. in May 2011. The tornado killed 161 people and destroyed more than 7,000 residences.

Missouri's housing agency has rejected a proposal to bypass new federal wage standards for tornado recovery projects.

A Missouri Housing Development Commission recovery plan requires workers on state-subsidized projects to be paid the prevailing federal wage used on federally funded public works projects. Those wages rose substantially in September.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a commission member, wanted the state to make an exception for construction workers in Joplin, where a May 22 tornado killed 161 people and destroyed more than 7,000 residences. Kinder said the new rate requirements would limit the state's ability to accelerate Joplin's rebuilding and would raise
costs for home buyers.

The commission voted Friday to keep the prevailing wage standard after learning a change could delay projects already approved by at least six months.

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