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Posted on: August 8, 2019

City of Branson Departmental Updates

Branson Logo City of Branson - NEWSFLASH

CITY CLERK/MUNICIPAL COURT:

  • Branson City Clerk, Lisa Westfall attended the Kimberling City Council meeting. She presented the Kimberling City City Clerk with her Missouri Registered City Clerk Certification earned through the Missouri State Association.
  • R&D Computers were at City Hall and provided Assistant City Clerk Hillary Briand and Lisa Westfall Laserfiche training.
  • The annual Transportation Development District meeting was held with the Board of Aldermen to meet state requirements.
  • Staff was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Mayor Akers and also welcome Assistant City Administrator John Manning to the City.

FINANCE:

  • The Finance Department hosted 4-hour budget sessions with the alderman to provide detailed explanations of the city’s financial and budgetary processes.
  • The Finance Department went LIVE with e-payables on July 17th as another source for paying vendors electronically. This will save time as well as the cost of paper checks, envelopes, and postage.
  • A special joint meeting between the Budget & Finance Committees and Capital Committees was held on July 25th to review capital requests for the 2020 budget. This session is designed to include these committee members and aldermen in the process of ranking capital projects as they relate to our Community 2030 plan. Dollars will be assigned in late August or early September.

FIRE:

  • The Firefighters Company Training for July focused on Rural Water Supply Operations.  This includes the use of the department’s 2000 gallon Water Tender and drafting operations from a 2000 gallon portable tank set beside a fire engine.  Water Tenders will supply the fire engines in areas where fire hydrants may not exist or the water supply may be limited.  Utilizing mutual aid Water Tenders, the fire departments can typically maintain a 1500 gallon water per minute shuttle operation.
  • Congratulations to Mike Novak, Division Chief / Training & Safety for completing the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program.  EFO students attend an intensive two-week course at the academy located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Following each course, the student has six months to prepare an applied research project on a topic based on the course and “identified problem” in their home fire department.  The Fire Department will host a reception in Division Chief Novak’s Honor on Monday, August 12 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm in the Courtroom at City Hall.
  • Branson Firefighter Dalton Pennington and one of his best friends, Ozark Firefighters Jacy Snider recently responded on their days off to assist the Department of Natural Resources as divers to help search for a prosthetic leg in a lake near Knob Knoster, Missouri.  A Veteran lost the prosthetic leg after capsizing a canoe.  Firefighters Pennington and Snider searched in low visibility water for eight hours until they successfully found the prosthetic leg. They have been recognized by the Director of the Missouri DNR and Governor Mike Parson.
  • Branson Vietnam Veterans Chapter 913 provided funding for the Fire Department to purchase three new Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) plus extra defibrillator pads to replace older and out of compliance AEDs.  A huge Thank You to our local Veterans for their fundraising efforts and support of Public Safety.
  • The Fire Department recorded no fireworks-related injuries or fires during the July 4 Holiday!

HUMAN RESOURCES:

  • The department recently completed going live with AcquireTM, the City’s new applicant tracking software. This allows candidates for employment to create a profile, store a resume and apply for jobs online and from a computer or mobile device. This also allows Hiring Managers to view viable candidates’ applications online saving paper and valuable staff time.
  • Jamie Patrick, Human Resources Generalist, completed the coursework and passed IPMA CP certification test with high scores.
  • As a reminder to all City staff, Safety and Risk Management sent out via email the pre-alert notification to all departments for testing Alertus for emergency communication to City employees. An initial test alert will be coming soon.

PARKS & RECREATION:

  • A night swim was hosted at the Branson AquaPlex on Friday, July 19 featuring fun games and a live DJ.  The event proved to be very popular due to high temperatures and was attended by 550 people.
  • Tournament season is in full swing with an event in the gym or ball fields occurring every weekend and some during the week as well.  Events that we have hosted in the last month include the Meltdown basketball tournament, the Tri-Lakes Basketball Tournament, the Licking Team High School Volleyball Camp, the HoopsPlay USA Basketball Tournament, and the USSSA Boy’s U11 Global World Series.  The opening ceremonies for the girl’s USSSA U9, U10 & U18 World Series was held Monday, July 19 at Echo Hollow with 63 teams from 12 different states are participating in this weeklong event. Mayor Edd Akers threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
  • The Branson Park’s Department hosted the Fastpitch America Softball Association World Series in Branson again for the sixth consecutive year.  The FASA Girl’s U14-U18 World Series Tournament was held July 15-20 and included 52 teams from seven different states.  The FASA Girl’s U8-U12 World Series Tournament was held July 22-27 and included 47 teams from eight states.
  • A celebration for National Disc Golf Day was held on Saturday, August 3 at the new Eiserman Disc Golf Course.  The public was invited to come out and enjoy the newly designed course.  Staff was present to offer assistance and instruction on disc golf.  Free hotdogs and Discs were made available.
  • Park’s Director Cindy Shook conducted a tour of the AquaPlex for the City Administrator and Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Washington, Missouri.  Washington is hoping to build a new pool. 
  • The Park’s Department recently teamed with the Engineering Department to offer a new integrated GPS map for City of Branson trails.  A QR code can be scanned to track exactly where you are while hiking. Signs will be placed along the trails to alert hikers to the new interactive map.
  • The adult softball season is underway at the RecPlex with divisions offered for men’s doubleheader, men’s recreation, church, and co-ed leagues.
  • The second free swim day was held at the Branson AquaPlex on July 31.  This event is sponsored by State Park Marina and also serves to collect canned goods for the local food pantry.  In total, 725 people were in attendance and approximately 600 lbs of food and $40 was collected for Christian Action Ministry (CAM). 

POLICE:

  •  BPD continues to team with area first responders to conduct ASHER (Active Shooter Hostile Event Response) training. In July, Branson hosted another training session at the Branson High School. This included officers and deputies from Branson PD, Hollister PD, and Taney County Sheriff; as well as firefighters and paramedics from Branson FD, Forsyth FD, Western Taney County FD and Taney County Ambulance. This training allows all first responders to train together in real environments and plan the best responses to the various locations. This training has been rotating throughout the year at the various high schools in the Tri-Lakes area.
  • Members of the police command staff teamed with the Army Corps of Engineers to tour the Table Rock Dam facility. This periodic walkthrough allows the departments to conduct updated threat assessments and coordinate with each other for the most effective responses should an emergency or criminal event occurs.

  • The department completed its selection process for the second K9 handler position and selected Officer Jason Harvey. We were then formally presented with the $20,000 check from the Branson Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America to purchase, train and equip the second K9. Additionally, the K9 Unit was presented with a check for over $5,000 from the Branson Auto Alliance with proceeds from a fundraiser they conducted over the summer. These funds will also be used to equip and train both K9 teams.

  • Members of the department attended the annual Cox Health First Responder Lunch. This year’s event was special as each agency that participated was presented with a plaque commending them for their assistance with last year’s Duck Boat accident. Our officers and employees continue to appreciate this yearly salute to first responders.

  • Detective Nathan Arnett returned from a month of training in Alabama. This training was provided by, and paid for, by the United States Secret Service. In addition, BPD was provided with approx. $65,000 worth of electronic forensic equipment. This equipment and training allows BPD to be a regional resource related to crimes that have an electronic nexus and has been sorely needed.

PUBLIC WORKS/ENGINEERING:
 

  • The GIS Division has had a busy July, developing Internet map applications and mobile mapping applications for both the Citizens and visitors of our City, as well as our employees and staff.
  • The City of Branson GIS Division, in collaboration with the Branson Centennial Museum, has developed an Internet Map application that highlights the historic landmarks in Branson. Jim and Jean Babcock, coordinators of the museum, assisted in providing the historical documentation and Branson GIS staff, including intern Alexis Hutchison, developed a map application that illustrates the historic landmarks, both past and present, and interesting history of each location. Visitors and residents alike can experience Branson’s rich history from their computer, then visit these locations with an understanding of the sites’ significance. Here is a link to that application: http://cob-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=63b2f8f8c785476384b55bfbf853b15d
  • The City of Branson GIS Division also developed a map-based, field collection application for the collecting of ADA ramp locations, conditions, and additional information. The tool was designed to be easy to use from a smartphone or mobile device. Engineering Intern, Evan Bergmann, was successful in using this application to collect and photograph ADA ramps along Gretna Road and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. The collected data will be key in meeting ADA compliance, and developing budgets and action plans to rehabilitate, or construct new ramps.

  • The City of Branson GIS Division developed a web map application to create an online viewer of the City of Branson’s colored route signage. Sign location, type, and even a photograph of the signs were collected in the field from a smartphone application also developed by the Division this summer. This web map application will help the various divisions of the Public Works Department to visualize existing colored route signage, and determine if the signage is adequate for navigation by our visitors. Here is a link to that application: http://cob-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9eaf98e25107426190ec62282aaa19a4

  • The City of Branson GIS Division, through a request by the Parks and Recreation Department, developed a mobile web mapping application for navigation of the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area. There have been a few occurrences of visitors getting lost on the trails over the years. This application can be pulled up on a smartphone, and utilizing the location capabilities of the phone, the visitor’s location and nearby trail markers are shown on the device in real-time. The application is QR code enabled, making it easy to access and use. QR codes are being placed on all the trail markers. Here’s a link to that application: https://cob-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?d=54c51e1ced944db39d4e551c3024cb09

  • City of Branson Public Works Streets crews have been busy the month of July making repairs to the asphalt at the Railroad Crossing on Stockstill Road. The crews worked in conjunction with a Missouri Northern Arkansas Railroad representative to complete the improvements.

  • As you drive around the city, you will see that some of our roads have been improved. Mill and overlay for the 2019 fiscal year has been completed on Fall Creek Trail, Fall Creek Drive, Stockstill Lane, Little Pete’s Road and the entrance drive to the Cooper Creek Wastewater Treatment facility as part of our pavement management plan. During the month of August, the roads in the campground will be milled and overlaid.

UTILITIES:

  • City water treatment personnel have installed automatic shut off valves on the gas chlorine system at the Cliff Drive water treatment plant. These added safety components (two yellow cylinders in photo) are interconnected to the facility chlorine leak alarm system and will automatically close the gas container valves if the alarm sensor detects chlorine gas in the atmosphere. This safety component was also installed last year on the larger chlorine system at the Meadows Water Plant.
  • Utilities continues to expand GIS mapping capabilities. System Plan Reviewer, Tara Norback, recently attended the Mid-West GIS Conference and returned with valuable information that has been used to enhance our data collection system. Tara is working with personnel in the water distribution, water treatment and sewer collection divisions to help set up point locations for water system component mapping and has provided beneficial training in data entry for daily inspections, locates and work completed. This initiative has reduced paperwork steps and created an improved workflow.
  • City Wastewater Treatment and Lift Station personnel recently completed the construction of a new roadway around the fenced compound of City Lift Station #21, located adjacent to Fall Creek. The roadway will be used by lift station staff during emergency situations when the station compound through access is blocked by emergency equipment. Neighboring residents can also use the road to access their properties when Fall Creek is in flood conditions.

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