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City Council approves library agreement, selects all-inclusive park bids

The West Plains City Council met in regular session Tuesday, January 18. During the meeting, the council approved a cooperative agreement between the city and the West Plains Public Library Board of Trustees and selected bids for all-inclusive playground equipment.

The council unanimously approved Resolution 2022-01, a resolution to approve the library-city cooperative agreement. You can read the agreement here à https://westplains.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Library-cooperative-agreement.pdf

“This agreement helps solidify the partnership between the City of West Plains and the Library Board of Trustees, who have worked together for many years to provide the best library possible for the residents of West Plains,” said City of West Plains Community Services Director Todd Shanks. “It is our hope this relationship continues for many years to come.”

The city then heard bids for equipment and materials needed to complete the city’s planned all-inclusive park at People’s Park.

The council selected bids from local businesses Indian Creek Materials for gravel and Stewart-Morrison Redi-Mix for concrete. The council selected a bid from Play and Park Structures of Chattanooga, Tennessee for the all-inclusive equipment.

“Play and Park Structures put together a fantastic proposal, and they have a successful track record of working with parks departments throughout Missouri,” said Shanks. “We are excited to begin working with them as they start the design process for the next phase of the park.”

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Applications being accepted for Community Development Grant

The City of West Plains has opened the application period for the Community Development Grant Program. This grant program utilizes funds from the City of West Plains Hotel/Motel Tax to promote tourism and economic development in West Plains. Any event/organization/project whose objective is to promote tourism and economic development in West Plains is eligible to apply. The event or project must be completed between April 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. The Tourism Advisory Council will review applications and make recommendations to the City Council for grant awards.

Grant proposals will be received until 4:00 p.m. on February 25, 2022. It is anticipated that the Tourism Advisory Council will vote to make their recommendations to City Council in early March and the final vote will take place at the March City Council meeting. Funding should be available April 1, 2022. All grant expenditures must occur before the end of the fiscal year (December 31, 2022).

Grant applications are available at www.explorewestplains.com. Click on the link at the bottom of the homepage. Completed applications can be emailed to melissa.wharton@westplains.gov or dropped off or mailed to the Ozarks Heritage Welcome Center located at 2999 Porter Wagoner Blvd., West Plains. The center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, contact Melissa Wharton, Tourism Coordinator, at 417-256-8835.

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Coffee with the Mayor

The public is invited to have a cup of coffee and discuss city happenings with City of West Plains Mayor Mike Topliff from 7 to 8 a.m., Friday, February 4 at the West Plains Civic Center – Rosebud Room.

“Coffee with the Mayor” will be held the first Friday at each month.

“Some of the best ideas and conversations are had over a cup of coffee,” said Topliff. “This is an opportunity to hear directly from community members and discuss projects, plans and everyday life.”

In addition to the Mayor, City Administrator Sam Anselm and other city directors, department leads and employees will be on hand.

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WP Sanitation Crews To Pick Up Christmas Trees

Sanitation crews from the City of West Plains will pick up Christmas trees free of charge on Friday, January 17, for customers within the city limits.

To be added to the list, City of West Plains’ residents can give their addresses by calling City Hall at 256-7176, or the Sanitation Department at 255-2330.

Residents who do not want to wait may take their trees to the Solid Waste Transfer Station on Old Airport Road between 7 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday. There will be no charge for this disposal, and all decorations must be removed from the trees.

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2021: Year in review

As the City of West Plains prepares for 2022, let’s look back at the year that was:

January

  • The City of West Plains, in cooperation with Ozarks Healthcare and the Howell County Health Department holds the first Mass Vaccination Clinic at the West Plains Civic Center.
  • The city is notified the Delta Regional Authority awarded $1 million toward the U.S. Highway 160 Overpass Project.
  • Funding is reinstated for the Governor’s Cost Share for the medical district roadway improvements and the decision is made to pursue the project as originally planned.
  • Demolition begins on the Southern Hills Shopping Center.
  • Work begins on Webster Groves Phase II housing developments.

February

  • Winter Storm Uri hits West Plains and surrounding area.
  • The city opens warming centers to help combat extreme temperatures.
  • Tractor Supply Company opens its doors.
  • The U.S. Highway 160 Overpass is mentioned by Gov. Parson in his annual State of the State address. MoDOT commits $2.25 million toward the project.
  • Second vaccination clinic held at civic center.

March

  • The city receives $2.5 million from CDBG to go toward the overpass project. This put us over the halfway mark in funding.
  • The city announces a new dog license and tagging ordinance.
  • The city ends its face covering mandate.

April

  • The West Plains Civic Center hosts the NJCAA Division 1 Volleyball Championship Tournament.
  • The groundbreaking ceremony is held at the West Plains Solar Array, marking the official beginning of construction.
  • The city hosts a retirement reception for Mayor Jack Pahlmann and City Administrator Tom Stehn.
  • Mike Topliff is sworn in as West Plains Mayor.

May

  • Butler Children’s Park new splash pad has ribbon cutting and grand opening.
  • John Niesen is sworn in as West Plains City Councilman.
  • West Plains Aquatic Center opens for the summer.

June

  • The Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival returns to the West Plains Civic Center Saturday after a one-year hiatus.
  • The Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) issues a Resolution of Appreciation and Recognition to former City Administrator Tom Stehn.
  • Harbor Freight opens in Southern Hills.
  • The city receives word that the final grant is awarded for the overpass project. The total project has seven funding partners, including MoDOT, the Economic Development Administration, the Delta Regional Authority, CDBG, Leonardo DRS, BNSF, and the City of West Plains. In all, $9,484,737 is committed to this project.

July

  • The first panels are installed at the West Plains Solar Array.
  • CDBG awards the city $2.5 million for the replacement of the St. Louis Street Bridge as part of its flood mitigation program.

August

  • Nearly two miles of trails at Galloway Creek Nature Park are paved.
  • Work begins to repair and refresh the exterior of the West Plains Civic Center.

September

  • City of West Plains crews install solar powered crosswalk at the intersection of North Howell Avenue and Broadway/Business 63.
  • The city is awarded a $250,000 grant from the Land Water Conservation Fund to continue with improvements at Butler Children’s Park, including the all-inclusive playground and trails.
  • Party in the Path: city task force begins to plan solar eclipse festival in anticipation of total solar eclipse in 2024.

October

  • Casting Crowns performs at the West Plains Civic Center, the concert was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • West Plains Tourism Coordinator Melissa Wharton receives the Mo. Department of Tourism Rising Star Award.

November

  • The 26,316th (and final) solar panel is installed at the West Plains Solar Array.
  • Assistant Fire Chief Kurt Wilbanks named MU FRTI Instructor of the Year.
  • Fire at Lincoln Street Substation causes city-wide power outage.
  • City Council approves the purchase of the property at the corner of Holiday Lane and Sunset Terrace to be utilized as the new City warehouse.

December

  • The West Plains Police Department announces three promotions and name second K9 Officer.
  • Work begins on the sidewalk project that will improve several neighborhood sidewalks as part of a major capital improvement effort.

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West Plains Police share Holiday travel safety tips

As Christmas quickly approaches, people will be making plans to travel near or far for their celebrations. The West Plains Police Department would like to share some tips to help everyone traveling have a safe and secure Christmas while they are visiting family and loved ones.

  • Make sure your vehicles are secured and all valuables are either taken out of your vehicle or hidden out of sight.
  • If you are going to be away from your residence, make sure it is secure. Lock all doors, windows, and even the doggy door.
  • For those traveling out of town, ask a neighbor or trusted friend to check on your residence while you’re away. The Police Department can also provide extra patrols for your neighborhood.
    • It is also a good practice not to overly advertise when you will be leaving and how long you will be gone on social media.
    • Turn on exterior lights as a deterrent to would-be thieves.

From all of us at the West Plains Police Department, we hope everyone has a safe and secure holiday season! As usual, our officers will be on patrol twenty-four hours a day, every day. We are always one phone call away to assist you when needed. If you would like extra patrol for your residence, you may contact the Police Department at 417-256-2244

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City of West Plains announces Holiday closures, trash routes

West Plains City Hall and other city offices will close at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 23 and remain closed Friday, December 24 in observance of the Christmas holiday.

Friday, December 24 trash routes will be collected Thursday, December 23. No other routes will be affected.

West Plains City Hall will then close Friday, December 31 for New Year’s Eve.

Friday, December 31 trash routes will be collected Thursday, December 30. No other routes will be affected.

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Candidate Filing Dates for April General Municipal Election

Candidate filing for the General Municipal Election, which includes school boards, municipalities, fire districts and other political subdivisions has been shortened by two weeks following the passage of Missouri House Bill 271. The opening day for candidates to file was December 7, 2021, at 8 a.m. and the filing period will close on December 28, 2021, at 5 p.m.

For local perspective, anyone wishing to run for West Plains City Council needs to file by 5 p.m. on December 28. There are two council seats up for election on April 5, 2022.

Candidates can file through the City Clerk’s office at West Plains City Hall, 1910 Holiday Lane.

“Municipal elections, perhaps, are the most important,” said Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. “It’s always inspiring to see individuals willing to run for local office and serve the people in their local communities. We want to make sure people are aware of this important deadline change.”

Important Dates for General Municipal Election Candidates:

December 28, 2021, at 5 p.m.        Last Day of Candidate Filing

April 5, 2022                                   Election Day

Ashcroft encourages Missourians to visit GoVoteMissouri.com for trusted election information and to register to vote.

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