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Posted on: June 10, 2019

City of Branson Departmental Updates

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May 2019

CITY CLERK/MUNICIPAL COURT:

  • Kim Tuley, Deputy Court Administrator attended the Missouri Association for Court Administration professional development conference. The conference had sessions covering court updates, procedures, legislation and personal enrichment topics.
  • Judge Motley, Municipal Judge attended the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association. This conference provided practical information to Missouri Judges with many seminars presented by notable speakers in their field.
  • Lisa Westfall, City Clerk attended the International Institute of Municipal Clerks Conference. As the President of the Missouri City Clerk and Finance Officers Association, she represented the State of Missouri and carried the Missouri flag during the opening ceremony of the conference. There were over 42 education sessions with 960 attendees from all over the U.S. and a number of other countries.

FINANCE:

  • The Finance Department is still in the processing of completing renewals of business licenses that expired April 30th. Businesses have until June 30th to complete their renewal before the city will begin closing unlicensed businesses. Of the 1,471 renewals mailed out mid-February 209 businesses have not renewed their license.
  • The city's external annual audit for Fiscal Year 2018 will be completed soon and presented at a Board of Aldermen meeting for approval in June.
  • The Finance Director spoke at the Governmental Finance Officers Association Meeting held in Los Angeles on May 20th regarding Branson's economic development practices, successes and lessons learned. Her presentation reached thousands of finance officers in attendance from all over the world.  

FIRE:

  • On Friday, May 3 the fire department placed in-service the new 107’ Velocity Ladder Truck built by Pierce.  Firefighters performed a traditional wet-down and push-back ceremony as the Ladder Truck is now serving the community from Fire Station #2.
  • During the month of May the fire department has participated in a partnership with the military to host an intern from the Army.  Sergeant Raymond Jimenez used this internship as a transition from a 10 years of service to a civilian position.  Sergeant Jimenez has served as an aircraft rescue firefighter and as a drill sergeant.  During the internship time, he tested for and was offered a position as a full-time firefighter with the City.  His start date was May 29.
  • Fire department personnel completed technical rescue training on slope rescue.  Using the slope on the east side of Tanger Mall, firefighters utilized specialized rope rescue equipment to respond to a simulated car accident “over the embankment.”  Firefighters set up and deployed rope gear and auto extrication equipment to rescue a manikin from the simulated car accident.  The vehicle was supplied by Ozark Mountain Towing.  We are thankful for the partnerships like these two businesses that provide opportunities for the firefighters to train for excellence.
  • Chief Ted Martin, Division Chief Ben Bonner, and Engineer Jason Gagnepain (Honor Guard Commander) attended the annual Firefighter Memorial in Kingdom City on Sunday, May 19.  Firefighters from across the state attend this annual event to recognize firefighters who have died in the line of duty as well as those from other causes including cancer, cardiac, stroke and other risks associated with the fire service.  Division Chief Bonner serves on the Firefighter Memorial Foundation Board of Missouri.

PARKS & RECREATION:

  • The Branson AquaPlex will open for the season on Saturday, May 25 for Memorial Day weekend.  Season passes are currently on sale.
  • The popular Branson Waves Summer Swim Team began practices on May 20.  The team will see nearly 100 youth ages 4 and over compete against teams in the Tri-State Conference.
  • The Branson Community and Senior Center celebrated older Americans Day on May 22.  The celebration was attended by over 100 guests, who enjoyed lunch, vendors, activities and entertainment.   
  • Members of the Branson USTA Women’s Tennis League will compete in several matches this spring and summer at Stockstill Park. 
  • Staff has been working with professional disc golfer Jeff Renner and members of a local disc golf club to redesign the disc golf course at Eiserman Park. The design will feature a great new layout that should be fun and challenging to both advanced and recreational players.
  • Stockstill Park is now open after flooding left debris throughout the park and damaged the walking path and the playground.  Park crews restored the park. Many thanks to Keller Williams, who had over 25 volunteers participate in a flood clean-up day on May 9. 
  • Branson Parks Department is partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation to offer their Discover Nature Fishing Program. As part of the revitalization of Eiserman Park, the Parks Department will soon begin offering catch and release fishing in the ponds at the park. Any children ages 15 and under will be allowed to fish the ponds during designated hours. Equipment will also be available for use during business hours. As part of our partnership with MDC we will also be offering a pilot course on fishing to our Summer Day Camp, culminating with a fishing day at Eiserman Park. Parks staff will provide lessons and instruction using equipment, curriculum and teaching aides provided by MDC.
  • Branson Park staff recently teamed up with the Branson Pickleball Club to create additional pickleball courts at Stockstill Park.  With the addition of the two new courts, we now have a total of four courts for the community to enjoy.  Open play times are currently being offered four times a week. 

POLICE:

The Branson Police Department is proud to announce our community outreach program for local teenagers.  S.T.E.P. (Summer Teen Engagement Program) took place May 20th – 24th. Branson Police staff and Branson Public Schools principals and counselors selected ten 8th grade students to participate. Each student experienced individualized challenges throughout the school year and staff determined program participation could greatly enhance their future.

This fall, each student will begin 9th grade at Branson High School. Parental permissions were secured and all ten students volunteered to participate in the program. S.T.E.P. was supported and funded through local donations; this program was provided at no cost to the students.

The weeklong program included positive police interaction and mentoring while experiencing many local traditional attractions. Each day, police mentors included discussions about life choices and focused conversations on leadership, integrity and character. Our ultimate goal is to establish valued student/police relationships and encourage these students to set goals and seek excellence in all their endeavors. All officers are assigned to the Branson Schools and will maintain contact with the S.T.E.P. students and assist them stay focused and succeed throughout their high school years.

Local businesses partnered with the police department and provided S.T.E.P. resources daily student lunches:

  • The Track Family Fun Parks
  • Titanic Museum
  • Herschend Family Entertainment (Silver Dollar City)
  • Wolfe Mountain Zipline
  • Pizza Ranch
  • McDonalds
  • Larry Snyder & Co.
  • A special thanks to our Police Chaplains for supporting S.T.E.P.; Chaplain Mickey Russell and Grace Community Church provided student transportation all week.

     
    PUBLIC WORKS/ENGINEERING:

  • City employees from the Utilities, Public Works and Engineering Departments celebrated National Public Works Week May 19 – 25th. The employees were thanked by City Administrator Stan Dobbins for continuing to work hard behind the scenes keeping the streets clean, providing clean water and updating the city’s sewer and infrastructure. Alderman Bob Simmons presented directors Keith Francis and Mike Ray with a proclamation signed by Mayor Edd Akers acknowledging National Public Works Week and honoring our employees in those departments. Alderman Simmons included some words of appreciation himself for the hard work and dedication provided to the citizens of Branson. Employees enjoyed a taco lunch plus sweet treats from Dolly Parton Stampede, Central Bank and Chick-Fil-a. Branson Bank also provided cookies that were delivered to the employees earlier in the week. A big thank you to all who made this event possible.
  • Operations Manager Ben Stabo attended the American Public Works Association Snow Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah this past month where approximately 2,800 professionals involved in snow operations across the country gathered to collaborate. Ben learned about new equipment, weather forecasting, training opportunities for snow plow drivers and many new techniques from fellow professionals across the United States and Canada. He looks forward to bringing back the knowledge he learned so that it can be applied to the City of Branson snow program.
     
    UTILITIES:

  • Sewer Collection personnel continue making point repairs in the clay tile sewer mains located in Lucia Ridge and surrounding area. In the first photo the clay main was broken around a customer service connection. In the second photo a 12 inch water main bedded in pea gravel had settled onto the clay tile sewer main causing the clay pipe to crumble. Both sections were replaced with PVC pipe. This will allow a full liner to be installed through the entire section of each main later this year.
  • Water Treatment personnel have refurbished a second filter at the Meadows water plant. The crew is taking one filter per year and covering the aluminum baffle system with a stainless steel skin. The process stops the deterioration of the existing aluminum framework and will extend the life of the system at least 25 years. Utilities received a $30,000 estimate for each filter (total 4) for outside contractors to make the installation, however, the crews researched material and welding equipment costs and found they could rehab each filter themselves for a cost of $5,000 per filter. Two of four are now complete at a savings so far of $50,000.
  • Wastewater Treatment personnel are nearing completion of construction on the 2400 square foot Aqua-Dam storage building. Crews plan to move the aqua dam system and related emergency equipment into the building during the first week of June.


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