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

Splash Pad to close for fall, winter months

The final day to day to enjoy the Splash Pad at People’s Park will be Sept. 21, the last day of summer. The Pad will be shut down until spring of 2022. An official opening date will be announced later.

“In the last five months, we have seen a large number of area youths utilize the Splash Pad at People’s Park,” said City of West Plains Community Services Director Todd Shanks. “Seeing the kids enjoy the Splash Pad has been great. We appreciate all the support we received leading up to the creation of the Splash Pad and look forward to turning the Splash Pad back on next Spring”.

The Splash Pad is the first phase of a larger project that will include additional play equipment, walking trails, fencing, and parking spots at the park.

For more information call the Parks & Rec Department, 417-256-7304.

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Food Pantry Box to Be Removed from People’s Park Pavilion

The City of West Plains, in cooperation with the West Plains Giving Tree group, will be removing the food pantry next to the People’s Park Pavilion due, in part, to an increase in vandalism and criminal activity at the pavilion.

The two groups, along with any interested organizations and churches in the area, will work together in hopes of finding a long-term solution for the food scarcity problem in the area. This could include finding a more suitable permanent location for a food pantry.

In 2016, the West Plains Giving Tree group installed the wood box to store food items to feed individuals and families in need. Over the years, the West Plains Parks Department, like the Police, have seen an increase in public safety concerns, with the box being frequently damaged and vandalized. The pavilion is now frequently tagged with graffiti, with many residents now fearful of using the pavilion for its intended purpose of a providing a safe gathering spot for families and groups.

“While we recognize there is a very real need for a food pantry in West Plains, the amount of vandalism and suspicious activity we are seeing at the pavilion warrants removal of the pantry,” said West Plains Police Chief Stephen Monticelli, who cited the pantry’s location in a public park frequented by children and families as “problematic.”

Food Scarcity in West Plains

The decision to remove the pantry was not easy to make due to the City’s concerns associated with food scarcity.

According to The University of Missouri Hunger Atlas, food insecurity is ‘very high’ for southern Missouri, including Howell County.

According to the report, one in six children in Missouri live in food insecure households. The United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

In Howell County, 22.3% of children under 18 years old live with food insecurity, which is 5% higher than the state average.

“I’d like to thank the organizers of the Giving Tree for bringing attention to a serious issue in Howell County, as well as our citizens who have supported the Giving Tree over the years by donating items,” said City Administrator Sam Anselm. “I think that spirit of giving will continue as we work together as a community to develop a long-term solution to our food insecurity issues.”

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City Hall to close for Labor Day

West Plains City Hall and other city offices will be closed Monday, September 6 for the Labor Day holiday.

Monday trash routes will be run on Tuesday, September 8. No other routes affected.

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Area firefighters raise $8,500 for MDA

For 67 years firefighters across the nation have collected critical funds in the community – one dollar at a time – as part of the MDA Fill the Boot program.

West Plains-area Fire Departments continued the long-standing tradition Saturday (8/28) as its members participated in the annual Fill the Boot program to raise critical funds to help transform the lives of kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related muscle-debilitating diseases. Donations help MDA continue services for more than 250,000 people living with neuromuscular diseases across the country and help continue funding life-saving research.

Dedicated firefighters from the West Plains Fire Department, Howell County Rural – District 1 Fire Department, Pomona Fire Department, Peace Valley/White Church Fire Department, and the Pumpkin Center Fire Department took donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at three different locations in West Plains. In total, $8500 was raised.

“The West Plains-area Firefighters and Fire Departments would like to thank the community for their support this year with the MDA Boot drop,” said West Plains Assistant Chief Kurt Wilbanks.

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Exterior updates to be done at the West Plains Civic Center

Work is underway to repair and refresh the exterior of the West Plains Civic Center. The exterior of the building uses an Exterior Insulation and Finish System, commonly referred to as EIFS.

EIFS is an exterior wall cladding that utilizes rigid insulation boards on the exterior of the wall sheathing with a plaster appearance exterior skin. While moisture can get behind just about any exterior surface on a home, the plastic nature of the EIFS synthetic stucco coatings tends to trap moisture.

The EIFS has not been cleaned or repaired since the building was built back in 1993. 

“Everyone likes to make a great first impression and ours is getting some much-needed love,” said West Plains Civic Center Director Eryn Walters. “It was night and day difference when we painted the interior of the building, so now we are eagerly watching the gradual changes as the days come.  The EIFS repairs has been something the staff has talked about for a while, so it is exciting to see this project come to fruition.”

Work is expected to be completed by the end of October and includes:

  • Pressure washing of all masonry and EIFS surfaces
  • Visually inspecting mortar joints, cutting out and re-painting deteriorated joints
  • Removing and replacing up to 50 deteriorated bricks at various locations
  • Cutting out and re-caulking all vertical expansion joints
  • Cutting out and re-caulking the perimeter of all windows and doors and louvers
  • Patching areas of deteriorated/loose EIFS
  • Removing 1-foot-tall continuous strip of EIFS on South elevation at pool wall
  • Removing and replacing wall flashing, then replacing EIFS
  • Applying waterproof coating to all EIFS surfaces
  • Applying clear water repellant sealer to all masonry surfaces

“If the EIFS repairs were to continue to go unattended it could potentially lead to mold and the breakdown of our bricking system because of the moisture that is able to get into the deteriorated EIFS areas,” said Walters.

Portions of the Civic Center campus could be roped off at times during the work, but the Civic Center will remain open. If you have questions, call the Civic Center at 417-256-8087.

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Paving Underway at Galloway Park

Nearly two miles of trails at Galloway Creek Nature Park are being paved with completion expected early next week.

Funding for paving the trails was awarded to the City of West Plains by a Recreational Trails Program grant through the Land Water Conservation Fund.

“Galloway Park is a hidden gem for West Plains, and having the trails paved will give even more recreational opportunities for people in our community,” said Community Services Director Todd Shanks. “This includes walkers, joggers, bicyclists, or people just wanting to enjoy nature and the scenic beauty of the Ozarks right here in town.”

The Park will not close for paving but please be advised that portions of the trail may be temporarily inaccessible. Visitors are reminded that pets must be leashed, and the park closes at dusk.

Another upcoming project at Galloway Creek Nature Park includes the construction of children’s “playscapes” near the pavilion, with that work expected to begin in the next few months.

Galloway Creek Nature Park is a 40-acre recreational park located off County Road 1770 in West Plains. Galloway Creek, a 5.3-mile-long tributary creek, runs through the property. Areas in the park serve as a “green area” for wildlife, maintaining the natural habitat of native plants and animals.

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Peak Alert issued

The City of West Plains issued a peak alert from noon to 7 p.m. Today, Wednesday, and Thursday due to extreme temperatures. During this time please be mindful and conserve as much power as possible.

According to the National Weather Service, afternoon temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 90s over the next three days.

If possible, raise your thermostats a few degrees and turn off any unnecessary lights and electronics.

We appreciate your patience and understanding. Thank you.

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West Plains City Council passes pair of ordinances

The West Plains City Council met in regular session Monday, August 24, 2021.

Council passed a pair of Ordinances during the meeting. Both were approved unanimously.

Ordinance 4689 authorizes Mayor Mike Topliff to execute a municipal agreement between the City of West Plains and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission providing for the pavement coldmilling and resurfacing of Route Business 63.

Ordinance 4690 provides for the levying and collection of a tax for the general revenue fund within the City of West Plains for the Year 2021.

The Council also appointed Crockett Oaks to the Planning Commission for a four-year term, which expires September 2025.

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Water and Wastewater Treatment Professionals Week

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed a proclamation declaring the week of August 15-21, 2021, as Water and Wastewater Treatment Professionals Week. The Governor’s proclamation recognizes the crucial work that water and wastewater treatment professionals do to keep Missourians healthy and our communities vibrant.

The City of West Plains Water Plant personnel oversees six water towers, four booster stations and the water system at Heritage Business Park in Pomona, in addition to the Water Treatment Plant.

The City of West Plains Wastewater personnel oversee four lift stations and the Wastewater Treatment Plant in addition to Heritage Business Park’s lift station in Pomona.

The proclamation highlights COVID-19 response efforts and that water and wastewater professionals are essential infrastructure personnel serving to protect Missouri citizens and critical infrastructure. “This week is a great opportunity to recognize these professionals and the vital role they play in our daily lives,” said Governor Parson.  

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