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Posted on: May 3, 2019

City of Branson Departmental Updates

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April 2019

CITY CLERK/MUNICIPAL COURT:

  • The municipal elections were held and staff welcomes those who were elected to the Board. We’ve been busy onboarding the newly elected Officials and immersing them into the City’s processes.
  • Welcome to Valeri Smith as an Office Assistant II, working in the Municipal Court.
  • 14 citizen positions were open for various Boards and Committees, 20 applications were received. The next step is for the Mayor and Board to review them.

FIRE:

  • The Branson Fire Department partnered with the American Red Cross to participate in “Sound the Alarm – Save a Life Campaign.”  Firefighters, City Officials, Red Cross Volunteers, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Volunteers and a class from the College of the Ozarks Fire Science Program canvassed the neighborhood on Eiserman Avenue and Parnell Drive to offer and install new Smoke Alarms with 10-year batteries.
  • Firefighters completed in-service training on the fire department’s new 107’ Velocity Ladder Truck built by Pierce Manufacturing.  Mark your calendars to attend a special ceremony to commission the new ladder truck on Friday, May 3 at Fire Station #2 at 6:00 pm.
  • Two firefighters are starting a recruit academy in April.  Please welcome Samuel Boehmer Billy Wayne Kepford as they been hired to fill current vacancies.  Stay tuned for a date for a badge pinning ceremony.
  • Captain Jim Nivens along with Firefighters Chris Ely, Brianne Parnell, Levi Lucan, and Dalton Pennington completed Driver Operator Core and or Pumper practical skills testing leading towards certification by the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office.

HUMAN RESOURCES:

  • Conducted the Seasonal orientation with the Parks Department on Saturday, April 20th and brought on 40 new hires between March and April.
  • Completed and distributed the employee benefits survey.
  • Plan to roll out some Health and Wellness Challenges soon (they will NOT be tied to the H&W Program Incentives for the discount in insurance rates) HR/Risk/Safety recently provided back safety training to several departments in the organization that included the introduction of four basic back stretches that are beneficial to do daily. Basic stretching daily is beneficial in reducing or eliminating the sprains and strains that we all get from time to time. It helps us to generally feel better and live longer. We then challenged the groups to do the stretches every work day through the month of April.
  • Our City Hall north parking lot is now safer with the addition of the new No Parking Zone. We are seeing more employees back into their parking spaces. We encourage everyone to back in or pull through parking spaces whenever possible because it can reduce and eliminate backing incidents when you are leaving.

POLICE:

  • Lt. Sean Barnwell graduated from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration – School of Executive Leadership in Plano, TX
  • The school develops senior level police leaders and prepares them to manage 21st Century Police challenges.
  • The Police Personnel and Recruiting Unit have been extremely busy – we recently completed 3 application processes.
  • The processes included police officers, dispatch, and records clerk. A total of some 100 plus applicants applied and were processed through our Personnel and Recruiting Unit – we are completing those processes and hope to hire five police officer candidates, 3 dispatchers, and a records clerk.

PUBLIC WORKS/ENGINEERING:

  • Accidents will happen.  Quick response by the fire and street departments helped protect Roark Creek from an illicit discharge.  An unfortunate mechanical failure of one of the fire department’s apparatus led to a spill of oil onto Shepherd of the Hills Expressway just up the hill from Roark Creek.  Over 40 gallons of oil was released and was running down the road to the storm inlets that led to Roark Creek.  The department responded by spreading ‘Nature’s Broom’, a biodegradable oil absorbent material to help stop the flow of the oil into the storm drain.  Public Works was contacted and responded with clay oil absorbent materials. This unfortunate incident forced a lane closure for 4 hours.  Public Works crews quickly and safely closed the lane with the proper procedures to ensure that traffic would continue to flow while the spill was cleaned.  Both departments worked together to make sure that our road was clean and oil did not make it to the creek!
  • In 2018 the city signed a contract with MECO Engineering to create a Stormwater Masterplan to address the issues that are taking place within our city.  After 1 year of research and field surveys, the stormwater master plan has been received and is under review.  This plan addresses the areas of the city that have had flooding issues.  These areas of concern were determined by complaints that the city has received over the last 3 years.  The city and consultant also held two public hearings to hear our citizens concerns. The Masterplan has descriptions of how stormwater drains in our city and how we can address the problems that come with heavy rain events.  As soon as staff finishes its review it will be posted to the City Website under the Stormwater Division of the Public Works/Engineering department.
  • Curtis Copeland was asked by a representative of ESRI, the world leader in GIS software, and the GIS software provider for the City of Branson, to give two presentations at their first ever Midwest Users Conference in mid-April in St. Louis. The Midwest conference was developed to be a forum of learning, networking and collaborating with GIS users in the Midwest. Their traditional annual user’s conference occurs on the West Coast and is attended by nearly 30,000 attendees from all over the world. Curtis presented on two topics. The first was in regards to the Internet mapping application that traces the 1818-1819 Journey through the Ozarks by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. Curtis received recognition from the Missouri House of Representatives for this application back in March. His second topic covered the implementation of a Citywide Enterprise GIS at the City of Branson.  This implementation was made possible in part by the Enterprise License Agreement with ESRI and working closely with the City IT staff, training other Department staff with GIS, developing applications, and converting over 300 map layers into an Enterprise Geodatabase, which maximizes data accessibility throughout the City.

UTILITIES:

  • The Utilities sewer collection crew is working in the Lucia Ridge area to identify clay pipe sanitary sewer mains in need of rehabilitation to prevent infiltration of groundwater and root growth into the sewer system through broken and cracked pipes. The crew has used their CCTV robotic sewer camera to inspect approximately 3,500 feet of the sewer system during the 1st quarter of 2019. During these inspections, the crew identified areas that need point repair and eventual lining. Point repairs usually consist of repairing broken pipes that have offset joints or collapsing pipe pieces. Once these repairs are made the crew will then finish their video inspections. The video information will be used to prioritize each main for an internal PVC type liner that will be installed inside the existing clay pipe by contractors later this year. The liner installation creates a solid run of pipe between sewer manholes eliminating tree root and groundwater intrusion.
  • Between operational duties, Wastewater Treatment and Lift Station personnel have prepared an earthen pad and poured the concrete footers and floor for the soon to be assembled AquaDam Storage building. The 40’ X 60’ structure will be large enough to house the AquaDam and other supplies needed for deployment and emergency response to flood conditions. The building, which is situated and positioned to be able to remain in place through all future planned expansions of the Cooper Creek wastewater plant, can also be repurposed as a maintenance shop for wastewater facilities when the AquaDam is no longer needed. Utilities personnel plan to begin erecting the steel building structure in May.

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