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

City Council Seeking Letters of Interest

The West Plains City Council is seeking letters of interest to fulfill an open seat on City Council as of April 30. To be considered as a candidate, individuals must be a United States citizen, at least 25 years of age, have been a continuous resident of the City of West Plains for at least two years, and a qualified voter for the City of West Plains. Letters of interest may be addressed to the West Plains City Council, c/o City Clerk Mallory Snodgras, P.O. Box 710, West Plains, MO 65775 or may be emailed to Mallory Snodgras at Letters of interest are due by the end of the business day April 28. The chosen candidate will serve on City Council until April 2022, but will have the opportunity to run for a full council seat if desired.

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MS4 Operating Permit Public Hearing

A public hearing will be held on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at the West Plains Public Library, 750 West Broadway, West Plains, MO 65775, at 5:30 p.m., to consider the Missouri Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) state operating permit for 2021 through 2026.

The MS4 operating permit requires the development and implementation of a formal, written stormwater management program plan (SWMP). The plan must include measurable goals, interim milestones, and an iterative process for evaluating best management practices (BMPs). Each plan must be placed on public notice as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The public hearing will give all interested parties an opportunity to provide input on this matter. Public comments will also be accepted through Thursday, April 15, 2021. The draft plan is available electronically at  or a hard copy may be requested. For further information, please email comments to Michael McMahon, Project Grant Specialists, at

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City of West Plains Submits Proposed FY22 Budget

City of West Plains Submits Proposed FY22 Budget

The City of West Plains and City of West Plains Utilities have submitted its proposed 2022 fiscal year operations budget and capital improvements plan, which can be found on the City’s website at

Overall, City operations (unrestricted operational spending) is budgeted to end the 2022 fiscal year with approximately $2.6 million (or 91.74 days cash on hand).  Utility operations (operational and capital spending) is budgeted to end the 2022 fiscal year with approximately $9.3 million (or 118 days cash on hand). 

Revenue budgeting for both city operations and utility operations was done very conservatively.  City operations is very dependent on sales tax revenue and utility operations is very dependent on the collectability of utility bills.     

A special work session with City Council will be held at 5 pm on Monday, April 5, 2021.  Before the work session begins, the City will allow for public comments regarding the budget.

For questions regarding the budget, contact City Hall at 256-7176.


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Spring Clean-Up Week April 26-30

The City of West Plains will host its annual city-wide clean-up the week of April 26-30. The event will occur on customers’ normal trash pick-up day. This annual event gives residents an opportunity to clean up around their property and have most of the items hauled away free of charge. The Sanitation Department is asking that waste be separated into five categories:

  1. Regular refuse, including extra bagged or boxed trash;
  2. Larger items like furniture and mattresses, which should be sealed with plastic and duct tape;
  3. Metals and white goods such as washers, dryers, stoves, etc. (Refrigerators and freezers with compressors must have a certification provided by a licensed technician the Freon has been removed before it will be collected.);
  4. Yard waste such as bagged leaves and grass clippings. (Brush will not be collected curbside but may be dropped off at the Transfer Station, 1851 Old Airport Road, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. clean-up week only free of charge.); and
  5. Recyclable items, which should be placed in or near the City furnished red bins.

               To have tires picked up please call the Sanitation Department, 417-255-2330 or City Hall, 417-256-7170 and leave your name and address. Customers will be billed $2 for each passenger tire and $3 for each passenger tire on a rim.

               “We ask your patience and cooperation during this time. It is our busiest week of the year and we pick up a lot of extra waste. Please remember to prevent our city employees from being injured to label and box all broken glass and have any small clean-up items bagged or boxed. We will not be able to collect waste that may be hazardous including asbestos, waste from major demolition or renovation jobs and items piled onto trailers or trucks,” Brent Lidgard Sanitation Supervisor stated.

               For more information, questions, or to have a recycle bin delivered to your home call the Sanitation Department.

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City Administrator Sam Anselm to begin April 19

Sam Anselm of Wildwood, MO, has been hired as the next City Administrator for the City of West Plains. He will begin duties on April 19. Anselm will replace Tom Stehn who has served as City Administrator/Engineer since September 2011. Stehn will retire April 30.

Anselm was City Administrator for the City of Wildwood and City Manager for the City of Joplin. He has 22 years of experience working for municipalities in the state of Missouri.

He has a Master’s in Public Policy Administration from University of Missouri—St. Louis and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration/Criminal Justice from Northwest Missouri State University.

“I’d like to thank Tom for his leadership and service to West Plains over the past ten years. I’ve been very impressed with the leadership team that he has helped put into place, and with the level of professionalism and dedication of the other employees I’ve met so far,” Anselm stated.

“I can’t wait to join the team and help the city council, residents and businesses of West Plains build the best community that we can.”

Sam and his wife, Jennifer, have four children.

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Face-Covering Mandate Ends March 31, 2021

The City of West Plains will dissolve the face covering mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of March 31, 2021.

The dissolution of the mandate is due to the decrease in the positivity rate for COVID-19, with an average of 1.5 cases per day in Howell County. In the last 14 days, Howell County has only had 22 positive cases.

“We want to thank the citizens and businesses of West Plains for their cooperation and support during this very trying time,” Mayor Jack Pahlmann stated.

“Businesses can still feel free to require face coverings, however, it will no longer be required inside the city limits of West Plains.”

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City Releases Holiday Hours, Trash Schedule

City Hall and other City offices will be closed Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25 for the Christmas holiday. All City offices will also be closed Thursday, December 31 and Friday, January 1 for the New Year holiday. Sanitation routes will run as follows:

Monday and Tuesday trash will be picked up on Monday for the two weeks (December 21 and December 28).

Wednesday and Thursday will be picked up on Tuesday for the two weeks (December 22 and December 29).

Friday will be picked up on Wednesday for the two weeks (December 23 and December 30).

The Solid Waste Transfer Station and Recycling will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the two weeks.

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West Plains Leaders Join Together for “Mask Up Ozarks” Campaign

For immediate release                                                                                                                Kim Wood September 3, 2020                                                                Digital & Media Relations Specialist

West Plains Leaders Join Together for “Mask Up Ozarks” Campaign

WEST PLAINS, Mo – Community leaders are banding together in a regional campaign encouraging healthy behaviors from citizens as COVID-19 continues to affect our community.

The initiative called “Mask Up Ozarks” is comprised of representatives from Burton Creek Rural Clinic, City of West Plains, Howell County Health Department, Missouri State University-West Plains, Ozarks Medical Center (OMC), Southern Missouri Community Health Center (SMCHC) and West Plains Schools.

The coalition believes that how we continue to overcome this pandemic will be through the unified effort. The goal of the campaign is that as a unified message spreads, the region will move closer to a new set of “normal” behaviors in shared spaces.  The campaign will provide resources to educate citizens as well as help businesses assure customers that their business is safe to visit, supporting a recovery that lasts.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention states that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The organization also provides tips to avoid exposure including hand hygiene, avoid close contact by staying six feet apart, cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and monitor your health daily. For more information about CDC recommendations, visit

The “Mask Up Ozarks” initiative focuses on wearing a mask as a way to help flatten the curve and slow the spread. The coalition is asking southern Missourians to focus on what they can do to help keep our communities safe.

“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 has to be a community effort and we are relying on everyone to do their part.  I believe we are all in agreement that we would like to see life return to the way it was before the pandemic, as quickly as possible,” said Howell County Health Department Administrator Chris Gilliam. “Masking is one thing we can all do to reduce the amount of time it will take to be able to return to a more normal way of life.”

The City of West Plains is under an Emergency Declaration Order until December 31, 2020. Under this order all individuals in the City of West Plains are strongly encouraged to adhere to social distancing recommendations, wear a face mask when in public, and to adhere to proper hygiene, including frequent hand washing.

“I believe that educating people the reasons for wearing face coverings are much better than mandating their use,” said Mayor Jack Pahlmann.

Keeping the local economy open depends on people staying healthy.  If everyone can do their part to create a safe environment to eat, shop, learn, and play, the community will get through this together.

“As an educational institution, we are committed to providing the information to our students that will enhance their lives and careers. Mask Up Ozarks seeks to do the same thing, by providing the most recent science-based knowledge to assist all of us as we safely but actively live our lives during this pandemic,” said Interim Chancellor Dennis Lancaster.

“With no known vaccine or cure, we must combat this virus and slow its spread by continuing to practice handwashing, social distancing, and masking,” said Dr. William McGee, Ozarks Medical Center Chief Medical Officer. “We all need to prioritize the safety of our community above our inconvenience.”

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases as of August 31 reached 284 with 88 being active. While the known positive cases, has reached 0.7 percent, the rate of increase since the beginning of August is 106 percent. Cities in the U.S. hit a surge in the first and second quarters of 2020, rural America is seeing the surge now.

Ozarks Medical Center will be handing out 2,000 free cloth masks on Friday, September 4 through the OMC Pharmacy drive-thru located in the Parkway Center at 1211 Porter Wagoner Blvd.

“Mask Up Ozarks” is a public service campaign created by a coalition of organizations working to support the region’s recovery.  If you would like to learn more about the initiative including how you can participate, please visit


Visit for more information about how you can spread positivity.

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