Open Hours of City Government Mon - Fri: 8.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

City Hall: Utility Customer Service Counter will close Friday (10/29) at 11:30 a.m.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the utility customer service counter at City Hall will be closing at 11:30 a.m. today, Friday, October 29th. Our apologies for the inconvenience this may cause. All other payment methods are still available including:

  • Online via credit card at www.westplains.gov. Processing fees apply (for example: a $100.00 utility payment would incur processing fees of $3.75.)
  • Call 1-866-277-2181 to make a payment over the phone.
  • In Person:
    • Via the utility payment drop box located outside City Hall near the flagpole (do not leave cash payments in the drop box).
    • At a local branch of West Plains Bank & Trust or Wood & Huston Bank (only accepted at local banks through the 10th of each month with payment stub).
  • Mail to P.O. Box 710 or to 1910 Holiday Lane. Note that the payment must be received by the 10th of the month. Please allow adequate time for mail processing. Postmark dates on the 10th do not constitute timely payment.

The utility counter plans to reopen Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.

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City of West Plains hires new HR Director

Beginning November 1, 2021, Beccie Williams will serve the City of West Plains as Human Relations (HR) Director. The West Plains City Council approved the hiring of Williams during an October special session.

Williams, who has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, comes to the City of West Plains with over fifteen years HR experience in the public sector, the most recent serving the City of Hurricane, Utah as HR Director.

“Beccie’s education, experience, and her passion for helping others be successful make her a strong addition to the team,” said West Plains City Administrator Sam Anselm. “She will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas for ways to strengthen our workplace culture and make the City of West Plains an employer of choice for our community.”

Anselm continued, “We share a common belief that the best employees provide the best level of service to our residents, and I’m excited to work with Beccie and the rest of our employees on a number of initiatives to help make our organization better than it already is.”

Williams replaces Sherri Cromer, who retired from the City of West Plains after 16 years. “I am both excited and honored to begin my employment with the City of West Plains and look forward to working with Mr. Anselm and his talented team of employees,” said Beccie

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Solid Waste Transfer Station to temporarily open 7 days a week

To help City of West Plains residents deal with falling leaves, the compost site at the Solid Waste Transfer Station, 1853 Good Hard Drive, will remain open seven days a week October 30 through November 30. Daily Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents should empty the leaves from bags or containers and take the bags or containers with them. There is no charge for bringing leaves to the site.

For residents who cannot take their leaves to the site or prefer for City Workers to pick them up at their residence, Sanitation crews will collect the leaves for a fee. Residents should call City Hall at 256-7176 or the Sanitation Dept.at 255-2330, before 4 p.m. on Thursdays, and leave their name and address. Leaves will be collected on Friday. The fee is $5.00 for the first six bags and .50 cents for each additional bag.

The customer will be billed for the service on their utility bill.

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Tourism Coordinator receives state-wide award

West Plains Tourism Coordinator Melissa Wharton received the Rising Star Award at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held Oct. 13 through 15 in Branson.

The award honors an individual who has worked for a tourism-related organization less than five years or who has transitioned to a new role and made significant advancements to the organization’s efforts.

During her first year, Wharton led the rebranding of West Plains tourism to “Explore West Plains,” created a new website and visitor guidebooks, and refreshed the Ozarks Heritage Welcome Center. She is focused on making the town a tourism hub in Missouri. “I am proud and honored to receive the Rising Star Award,” said Wharton. “I look forward to continue growing Explore West Plains and promoting tourism in the Ozarks.”

Other tourism award winners include:

  *   Hall of Fame: Gina Walsh, former Missouri Senator for the 13th district
  *   Marketing Campaign Award: Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau
  *   Pathfinder Award: Perry County Heritage Tourism’s Christmas Country Church Tour
  *   Innovator Award: Visit Hermann
  *   Navigator Media Award: KYTV, Springfield
  *   Hospitality Award: Tim Riley, director and chief curator at America’s National Churchill Museum
  *   Legislative Award: Aaron Griesheimer, Missouri Representative for the 61st district
  *   Film Industry Champion Award: Kathryn Swan, former Missouri Representative for the 147th District

In addition to the awards presentation, the conference – hosted by the Missouri Division of Tourism – featured educational workshops and guest speakers who addressed a variety of topics relevant to the tourism industry.

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City of West Plains hires new City Clerk

The West Plains City Council recently met in special session and approved the hiring of Allison Skinner as the new City Clerk.

Skinner joins the City with 20-plus years of journalism experience, most recently serving as General Manager of the West Plains Daily Quill. Skinner has been an active member and leader of several community boards, including West Plains Rotary, West Plains Education Foundation Board, West Plains Council on the Arts and the Chamber Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to have Allison join the leadership team here at the City of West Plains,” said City Administrator Sam Anselm. “Her love for West Plains and the level of excitement she has about serving our community will ensure we continue providing the best customer service to our citizens that we can. She’s going to be a great addition to the organization.”

Skinner began her career covering West Plains City Council meetings, now she will organize and conduct them.

“I began my career in 2002 as a general beat reporter covering our city’s government, keeping records of all meetings,” said Skinner. “I have continued to be involved in the city in as many ways as possible, through work and volunteer boards and clubs, in order to be an active part of the community. I am excited to put my expertise to work for the city and its citizens in this new role.”

Skinner began her duties Monday, October 18.

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City Hall to close for Columbus Day

West Plains City Hall and other city offices will be closed Monday, October 11 in observance of Columbus Day.

Monday trash routes will be run on Tuesday, October 12. No other routes affected.

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City of West Plains: Halloween Will Always Be Observed on October 31

Although the City of West Plains receives numerous inquiries each Fall on what day Halloween will be observed, the City would like to let the public know it will always be observed on October 31. The City does not have the authority or the desire to change the day for Halloween or trick or treating.

The West Plains Police Department, however, recommends that those wishing to trick-or-treat do so between the hours of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Halloween day.

The Police Department would also like to pass along the following Halloween safety tips:

  1. Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right, and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  2. Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, and do not run across the street.
  3. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  4. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  5. Join kids under the age of 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Costume safety

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Driver Safety

  1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

The West Plains Police Department will have a large presence in the community over the Halloween weekend and encourages everyone to report any suspicious activity by calling 256-2244.

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Party in the Path: City task force developing solar eclipse festival

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will trace a narrow path of totality across 13 U.S. states. Included in the path of totality is the City of West Plains, which will seek to commemorate the rare occurrence through a four-day festival called “Eclipse West Plains: Party in the Path.”

The festival is being organized through a community task force spearheaded by the City’s Tourism Department. That task force will develop a schedule of events and activities built around the eclipse, with similar festivals proving to be very popular in 2017.

“This is a very exciting time for West Plains to have the opportunity to see a natural phenomenon while hosting many visitors from across the Midwest,” said West Plains Tourism Director Melissa Wharton. “It’s our time to show off this beautiful area in which we live. I am on the state-wide task force for the solar eclipse where I am learning best practices from the Missouri cities that were in the path of totality in 2017.”

The eclipse will begin in West Plains at 1:54:28 p.m. and last for approximately three minutes.

Total solar eclipses happen when the New Moon comes between the Sun and Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, on Earth.

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Discounted tickets available to Casting Crowns

First responders, Law enforcement personnel, front line workers, and more (hospital, emt, air med, city personnel) can buy $22 discounted tickets to Friday Casting Crowns concert at the West Plains Civic Center.

This is a box office only offer so they will need to come to the civic center to get the tickets. 

“We are very excited to finally get to see this show come to life after an 18-month delay,” said Civic Center Director Eryn Walters. “Casting Crowns never disappoints and having Matthew West touring with them will be a show you won’t want to miss out on.”

Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.

For questions, call the West Plains Civic Center at 417-257-0409.

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Mayor signs proclamation, world-renowned artist visits West Plains

Thursday morning Mayor Mike Topliff signed a proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year, Missouri ranked second in the United States for incidents of domestic violence. The proclamation was presented to Christos House Executive Director Moira Seiber.

Christos House hosted public event Wednesday to help shed light on this serious issue that affects women and men in the Ozarks. World-renowned African artist Bolaji Ogunwo painted a mural inside the Christos House resale shop during the event. The title of the mural is, “Helping Hands.”

Ogunwo has more than fifty international art exhibitions to his credit. He currently is a studio artist and painting lecturer at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Akoka.

Ogunwo came West Plains to visit friends, Crockett and Tonya Oaks, who met the artist when they lived in Africa. He was a featured artist for a program the Oaks started in Lagos called, “Art Anyone,” designed to bring area artists together with expatriates to exhibit and sell their art.  Crockett Oaks said the couple “fell in love with his work.”

Crockett Oaks is Director of Business and Support Services at MSU-West Plains, and currently serves on the Christos House board of directors.

Christos House provides emergency shelter and outreach services for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Carter, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas, and Wright counties.

Christos House also helps victims with rent, utilities, and clothing and offers a diaper program and parenting classes free to the community.

The West Plains Resale store is located at 125 Jefferson Avenue in West Plains (the former Daily Quill building).

Shopping hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday and from 10 am to 2 pm on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Items for sale include clothing, shoes, furniture, toys, books and household items.

Persons needing help can call the Christos House hotline, 1-800-611-5853.

For information, or to donate money or items for the resale shop, call Christos House at 417-256-3408 visit christoshusemo.org, or visit the store.

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