The City of Branson is confident everyone who needed assistance moving out of the 76 Inn motel have been taken care of by the community response team after the power to the motel was shut off a short time on Monday and an official closure notice from the City of Branson was issued.
After trying to work with the out-of-state owners of the motel for two months to keep the power account in good standing, and several notifications, White River Valley Electric Cooperative (WRVEC) shut the power off to the motel Monday morning. At the time about 50 rooms were being rented, some with children and elderly.
Branson city and community partners acted quickly, working with WRVEC to get the power back on, temporarily so a plan could be put into place to relocate residents. That gave the City and guests time to make arrangements for those that will be displaced. If the 76 Inn’s WRVEC account is still not in good standing by Friday, the power will be shut off again.
The community response team is made up of City officials, the Taney County Health Department, The Taney County Animal Shelter, Branson Animal Control, Branson Public Works, the Branson Police Department, the Branson Fire department, the Salvation Army and Jesus Was Homeless.
City officials feel confident if the power is turned off Friday, the people who needed help moving which include including the elderly, people with health or medical concerns and people with small children are taken care of. The Community response team helped move eight adults and two children, helped remove the mounds of piling trash and have made arrangements for animals and pets. The Taney County Health Department was able to go room to room for inspections and have identified multiple life safety and health issues. As such, they have closed 12 rooms that nobody is allowed to be in.
The City was also able to communicate to all occupants that even if the power stay on, the motel may shut down April 18th because of the closure notice, giving them about three weeks advanced notice. Many remaining guests say they are making plans to leave at a future date. The City will continue to communicate and work with the guests if they need any help relocating between now and April 18th.
Branson annually reviews all City business licenses. In the last 15-months Branson has implemented a new hotel, motel lodging ordinance that has allowed the health department to have greater enforcement capabilities. The City is currently in the renewal process and all annual business licenses expire April 30th. As this date approaches the City now has the ordinances in line to affect positive change to ensure a higher quality of life for residents and guests. Those ordinances may include temporary or permanent closings of lodging facilities that have code violations.
The City has also implemented a hotel, motel tier system which ties the amount of criminal activity to a lodging facility.
The ultimate goal for the City is to improve the overall quality of life of the residents and guests who are staying in Branson.