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Two West Plains Fire Fighters receive MU honors

Two West Plains Fire Fighters have received awards from the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI), a premier unit of MU Extension, provides comprehensive cognitive education and manipulative skills training for Missouri’s fire and emergency service responders.

Assistant Chief Kurt Wilbanks was named MU FRTI Instructor of the Year. In addition, he and Lieutenant Wayne Cormier received the Highest Single Course Instructor Performance Rating award. Wilbanks and Cormier are MU FRTI Adjunct Instructors.

“We are incredibly proud of these two,” said West Plains Fire Chief Dan Clark “These honors show the hard work and dedication that these two bring to the West Plains Fire Department. These guys beat out instructors from St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield. Our town is lucky to have these guys.”

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Annual Christmas Tree lighting set for Nov. 24

A brief ceremony to commemorate the annual lighting of the West Plains Christmas Tree, which is located on the northeast corner of the Courthouse Lawn, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 24.

The 20-foot tree, complete with LED lights, will be installed by City of West Plains’ utility crews and was funded in 2019 by the City in partnership with the West Plains Downtown Revitalization organization.

Representatives from the City of West Plains will be on hand for the lighting ceremony, which will include a special appearance from Santa Claus.

All are invited to attend.

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City of West Plains announces Thanksgiving closures, refuse routes

West Plains City Hall and other city offices will be closed Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The two-day closure will alter regular refuse routes.

Routes will run as follows:

Monday and Tuesday routes will be picked up Monday, November 22

Wednesday and Thursday routes will be picked up Tuesday, November 23

Friday routes will be picked up on Wednesday, November 24

Contact City Hall at 417-256-7176 with any questions

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City Hall to close for Veterans Day

West Plains City Hall and other city offices will be closed Thursday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

Trash routes will not be picked up on Veterans Day.

 Thursday routes will be run on Friday, November 12. No other routes affected.

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Country Music Star Chris Janson to perform at West Plains Civic Center

Top-40 country artist Chris Janson and his “Halfway to Crazy Tour” will visit the West Plains Civic Center Friday, February 25, 2022. Joining Janson are Ray Fulcher and Shane Profitt. Doors open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m.

Online presale tickets are available Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. through Thursday, Nov. 11 at 10 p.m. Visit https://civiccenter.net/box-office/ or https://www.facebook.com/wpciviccenter for link to tickets. Use code BYEMOM for presale tickets.

General on sale tickets can be bought at the Civic Center Box Office beginning Friday, November 12 at 10 a.m. or by calling 417-256-8087. Online ticket sales also are available using links above. Ticket prices are $25, $35, $45 and $65.

Chris Janson, from Perryville, Mo., is a breakout country star and a platinum-selling recording artist. Bobby Bones has named Janson among the greatest six live performers in country music. His chart-topping, 3X Platinum smash “Buy Me A Boat” gained Janson national attention in 2015. Along with “Buy Me A Boat,” singles “Drunk Girl,” “Good Vibes,” and “Done” have all topped the country charts bringing his total of No. 1 songs to four.

Janson’s latest release, “Bye Mom,” was derived from the real-life story of co-writer Brandon Kinney and is a triumphant ode to unconditional love. It was most-added upon impact at country radio and earned the highest first-week streaming total of Janson’s career.

In addition to his own successes, the talented songwriter has lent his pen to industry peers including Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah,” “How I’ll Always Be”), LOCASH (“I Love This Life”) and the legendary Hank Williams Jr. (“God Fearin’ Man,” “Those Days Are Gone”).

For more information, please contact the West Plains Civic Center Box Office, 110 St. Louis Street, West Plains, call 417-256-8087 or visit chrisjanson.com.

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West Plains Public Works Department developing Integrated Plan

The West Plains Public Works Department is developing a long-term, strategic capital plan to guide future investments. The Integrated Plan (IP) enables the City to prioritize and address the critical infrastructure needs first while maintaining compliance with State and Federal regulations and continuing to provide customers with reliable and affordable water services.  

The IP establishes a 30-year schedule to:

· alleviate sewer treatment and capacity constraints;

· enhance drinking water storage, treatment, and distribution systems;

· renew aging and failing infrastructure; and

· meet current and future regulatory requirements.

The IP is flexible and adaptive. The City of West Plains is committed to reviewing the IP improvement schedule on a regular basis to consider new community priorities. Through the adaptive IP process, the capital improvement schedule will reflect newly identified infrastructure needs while maintaining regulatory compliance. IP revisions will be presented to the City Council before they are finalized with MODNR.

DEFINING THE NEED

West Plains cares about the level and quality of service provided by the drinking water, sewer, stormwater services. To address identified aging infrastructure issues, mitigate stormwater flooding, and plan for future capacity needs, the City of West Plains completed a series of Master Plans. The Master Plans identified the following needs:

Drinking Water: 

· additional potable water storage,

· high services pumps,

· distribution line repairs,

· expanded treatment capacity, and

· service line inventory

Sewer Treatment:

· collection system repairs,

· repair and replace aging infrastructure,

· upgrade treatment facility to enhance capacity and address permit requirements.

Stormwater:

· Resolve drainage problems, and

· Maintain compliance with the stormwater permit.

MAINTAINING AFFORDABLE BILLS AND RELIABLE SERVICE

Recent Master Plans developed for the sewer treatment facility and collection system, drinking water treatment plant and distribution system, and stormwater system indicate that significant capital improvements are needed to meet customer demands, repair aging infrastructure, and meet our regulatory requirements. Through the IP process, the City is exploring the most cost-effective and affordable options available for sequencing and funding the upgrades.

The City has managed to provide our customers with affordable user rates while providing a reliable level of service. Over the next 30 years, we intend to continue our history of maintaining affordable utility bills while enhancing our level of service.

While the City embarks upon the identified capital improvement plans, we are committed to maintaining affordable water rates that are comparable to the rates of our neighboring communities. 

The City will take every opportunity to seek out and apply for grants and low-interest loans to keep costs low and optimize our project goals.

STATE AND FEDERAL SUPPORT

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Missouri of Department of Natural Resources (MODNR) recognize the IP process as a solution that achieves the highest level of water quality by prioritizing and scheduling investments based on the specific needs of the City.

MODNR has expressed their support for the City’s preliminary IP improvement schedule. The City intends to complete the IP and gain final regulatory approval by February 2022. At that time, the IP improvement schedule will be formalized within our sewer treatment permit.

West Plains is following EPA’s Framework to develop the 6 Element IP:

1. Develop the vision.

2. Describe existing facility performance.

3. Maintain community involvement.

4. Evaluate project alternatives.

5. Identify investments & develop the schedule.

6. Implement & measure success.

For more information, contact City Hall at 417-256-7176. Pamphlets detailing the strategic plan can be picked up at City Hall, 1910 Holiday Lane, and found at westplains.gov.

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City of West Plains to Introduce New-Look Utility Bills

Beginning in late December, West Plains residents will receive new-look utility bills. City utility customers will receive a one-page bill that features a revamped format with a more user-friendly readable layout.

To make the new utility bills possible, the City of West Plains has teamed with Infosend, Inc., an organization that has provided business process outsourcing services since 1996. The West Plains City Council approved the use of Infosend to print and mail the City’s utility bills during the July 2021 council meeting.

The City of West Plains chose Infosend as its billing outsourcing partner to increase efficiency in the utility billing process and to reach customers more effectively.

Call City Hall at 417-256-7176 with questions pertaining to the new billing process.

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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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