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Posted on: February 8, 2019

City of Branson Departmental Updates - January 2019

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CITY CLERK/MUNICIPAL COURT:

  • The Board of Aldermen candidate filings for the April elections were certified to the Taney County Clerk.
  • The Council Chamber’s audio upgrade has been completed.

FINANCE:

  • We had our initial meeting with the auditors for the 2018 audit. This year, we will be changing partners for the second time since being with Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C. In late March, the auditors will be returning to undertake this year’s fieldwork. Our current contract has a five-year term of which this will be the last year before we again have to go out for bid.
  • The 2019 Budget Book has been completed and should be posted within a week to the City’s website. A great amount of effort is put into this to make it attractive and interesting while containing the required items.
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) required 1095-C forms have been completed and should be distributed by the individual departments.
  • 2018 Benefit Statements are completed and will be with the first paycheck of February.
  • Request for Proposals (RFP) have come back for the new firehouse and police station. The city has assembled a committee to review the proposals and make a decision on which company to go with.
  • It is almost that time! We are gearing up for the licensing renewal time. Every year we reevaluate our process before we send the renewal notices out. Currently, the plan is to send renewal notices out no later than February. (This licensing does not include hotel/motel classifications that have been moved to an October 31st expiration).
  • We are in the process of being able to use E-payables for our accounts payables. This process will allow us to reduce the number of paper checks we send out as well as cut down on the time spent calling to pay a bill by card over the phone.
  • The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission met on January 18th to vote on an aquarium concept to be located where the Grand Palace currently sits. The board passed it unanimously. So moving forward, we will be having the public meeting on February 5th and then will go to the Branson Board of Aldermen for first reading on February 12th.
  • A $306,000 check was received from FEMA this month for reimbursement of the Meadows Dredging. This expense was incurred because of the 2015 flooding.

FIRE:

  • Firefighters completed annual Mask Fit and Consumption Testing for all firefighters. The Mask Fit Test confirms the proper seal of the firefighters mask for their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The Consumption Test involves physical ability actions including the use of a sledgehammer, running on a treadmill and climbing stairs to confirm the firefighters can meet or exceed the time or capacity of the SCBA air bottles. Both of these tests are driven by a focus on firefighter health and wellness.
  • Held the Branson Fire Department Annual Banquet honoring the Department’s hard work throughout the year and recognizing several individuals who went above and beyond.

HUMAN RESOURCES:

  • Celebrating 15 months of no workers’ compensation or property/liability damage claims with Parks and Recreation Maintenance staff.
  • AcquireTM applicant tracking and onboarding application agreement is off to the vendor for signature and we anticipate beginning implementation within the next 30 days.
  • Health Risk Assessments (HRA) for 2019 are completed; results are becoming available on CoxHealth Wellness Portal.
  • Employees participating in the Health and Wellness Program who get their HRA results through their doctors or primary care physicians (those who didn’t participate in the HRAs) must have all required information and test results submitted to CoxHealth Wellness before March 1, 2019.
  • Working with Parks and Recreation on long-term succession planning and staffing.

PARKS & RECREATION:

  • The City of Branson Park Maintenance staff has been busy with winter projects. Annual maintenance repairs and painting is being performed at the Branson RecPlex and Community Center. The Branson Lakeside RV Park is also seeing upgrades to some of the RV sites along the lakefront in anticipation of spring.
  • Preparations are being made for the annual Father-Daughter Dance. Over 600 fathers and daughter attended last year’s event, and we are gearing up for another big turnout. Due to requests, we have added a new Mother-Son event this year and have teamed with Fun Mountain at Big Cedar Lodge to host the event.
  • The annual activity guide is now available online or you can pick up a copy at the RecPlex. The activity guide details all the Department’s programs and special events for 2019. Park and trail information is also provided.
  • A new Pickleball clinic for beginners is now available January 29 – February 19 from 9:00-10:00 am at the Branson RecPlex gymnasium. Open play for Pickleball will also be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm starting the week of February 5. The drop in fee is $5.00 or you may purchase a punch pass for 10 visits for $35.00. Inquire at the Branson RecPlex for more information.
  • Preparations are being made to move to a new campground management system at the Branson Lakeside RV Park. The new software, set to launch on March 1, will allow for online RV Park reservations.

PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT:

  • Planning staff has been actively meeting with various stakeholders in the community to discuss the draft sign code revisions. Meetings will continue through February and March with the goal of having the code amendments adopted in late second or early third quarter.
  • Department staff and representatives from multiple other departments participated in two demonstrations to determine which provider will be assisting the City to implement a new land management software. The goal of the new system will be to improve the customer experience and staff efficiencies for all functions related to development (i.e. planning, building, and code enforcement). Staff is hopeful for the final selection to be approved by the Board in the second quarter so the implementation can begin immediately. If this timeline can be maintained, staff anticipates a new system can be in place by 2020.

POLICE:

  • The police department recently switched to a hybrid patrol schedule which includes both 10 and 12-hour shifts. Staff developed the shifts after researching patrol workload and call volume data to maximize our resources during our busiest hours. We created overlapping shifts for our peak workload times thereby assigning additional officers during these peak times.
  • A diverse cross-section of the department worked together and drafted a new police department Mission, Vision and Values statement. Our Mission, Vision, and Values center on three simple characteristics - Service * Integrity * Accountability. The employees provided a summary of what guides them as they strive to provide the best service possible. We are very proud of our Mission, Vision, and Values document as it exemplifies everything our employees stand for: why they work for Branson PD, what they believe in, and what’s important about their service to our community.
  • Police Command and the K9 Team visited Lowes Hollister and presented the store manager with a Certificate of Appreciation (pics available) for their donation of supplies to construct K9 Tygo’s new kennel at his handler’s home. Special thanks to Branson employees (Neil and Mark) for constructing the high-quality canine shelter!

PUBLIC WORKS/ENGINEERING:

  • The Missouri Department of Natural Resources conducted the city’s first audit on the Public Works Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program which covers the first two years of the city’s permit. This audit included a review of our MS4 Program, its progress, operations, and record keeping. The initial response from the state agency was very positive and a formal evaluation will be sent to MS4 Coordinator, Kirby Dieterman within the next 3 to 4 weeks. The auditor from the state was especially impressed with our Construction Management program that is required by the Clean Water Act. Our inspection forms and our inspection process exceeded the state’s expectations.
  • Curtis Copeland, GIS Coordinator, and the City’s GIS Division were mentioned in the February 2019 edition of the Missouri Conservationist. Mr. Copeland created an interactive map of the route of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, a pioneer from 1818 who trekked 900 miles across Missouri. Schoolcraft journaled his journey and shared the beauty of the Ozarks, the geology, the geography and the people with the rest of the United States in his account titled “Rude Pursuits and Rugged Peaks”. There is also an article in the January 9th Springfield Newsleader, outlining local Rick Mansfield who is retracing those 900 miles by use of his GPS and Curtis’ interactive map.

 

UTILITIES:

  • Utilities Sewer Collection personnel recently made necessary point repairs to an existing sewer main in the area of Parnell and Malone Streets. The 60+ year-old clay tile main has several sections of pipe which are beginning to deteriorate and blockages were beginning to occur. The crew did an exceptional job working in the tight conditions between homes and around other utilities that are located in the space. Residents were very understanding even though their yards were heavily disturbed. Crews will return and complete final grading and seeding when weather conditions allow.
  • This main is also scheduled for PVC lining in the Utilities Department 2019 sewer rehabilitation program. In this process, a plastic liner is pulled through the existing clay tile pipe and formed to the interior of the existing pipe thus creating a solid and continuous PVC main between ending manholes. This process eliminates the intrusion of groundwater and root growth in the sewer system. Utilities has used this process to repair over 15,000 feet of clay tile sewer main in recent years with great success. The PVC system requires no excavation and will extend the life of the main for at least another 60 years. Point repairs are sometimes necessary, such as required in this main, prior to the PVC application. The Sewer Utility plans to line approximately 6000 feet of existing clay tile main in 2019.


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