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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Ozark Region Workforce Development Board and the Missouri Job Center will be hosting two hiring events for Zaxby's as they seek to hire all non-management positions for the first Zaxby's location in Springfield. The hiring e...Read on...
The second quarter of 2016 saw an overall increase in crime by 2 percent. This is in comparison to the crime statistics of April through June 2015, and it is shown in the Springfield Police Department’s latest Quarterly Public Saf...
View a video recording of the meeting.
6 p.m.-Sundown, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016Meador Park, 2500 S. Fremont Ave.
Springfield Public Works will test out the safety benefits of a new right-turn lane design with a pilot study at the intersection of Battlefield Road and Campbell Avenue beginning Tuesday, July 26.
Crash history shows that mo...Read on...
Sheila Maerz, City of Springfield Human Resources director, announces her retirement effective Oct. 20.
Maerz joined the City of Springfield as the Human Resources director in October 1998 and is responsible for employment, cl...Read on...
Springfield, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Park Board hosts the 13th Annual Kid’Athlon Saturday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m. (6:30-7:30 check-in) at Meador Park, 2500 S. Fremont Ave.
The Kid’Athlon is a triathlon for kids ages 5 to 12, with age-appropriate s...Read more »
Commercial and residential building inspections will not be available from the City’s Building Development Services Tuesday, Aug. 2 because the department’s inspectors will be participating in training on fire resistance-rated con...Read on...
Longtime zoo employee Blanche Jones retires Friday, July 22, following a 43-year career at Dickerson Park Zoo. Jones, 88, is currently the longest-serving employee working at the zoo, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the City of Springfield. S...Read more »
It may seem early, but now is the time for parents and guardians of school-age children to think about required and recommended vaccinations for the 2016-17 school year.
Recent changes have been made to Meningitis vaccination requirements. Every child...Read on...
City Manager Greg Burris has named David Holtmann to serve as interim Finance director effective July 25.
Holtmann temporarily replaces Mary Mannix Decker, who announced her retirement in May. Her last day with the City will b...Read on...
What began 18 months ago as a look at crime statistics, has turned into a multi-pronged initiative that City leaders believe has the ability to unite Springfieldians in a common crusade to improve quality of life through the simple act of neighbors helping neighbors.
In early 2015, City staff were reviewing crime data, when they wondered what it might look like to review additional information from various focus areas, such as health indicators, median household income, voting patterns, and unemployment, and map those in a similar way that the police department does for crime. The results were compelling enough to interest everyone from church pastors to daycare workers.
“The 20 heat maps we created from the data we collected gave us insights into the challenges and opportunities we face, and eventually became the fuel for what has evolved into one of Springfield’s most comprehensive and collaborative efforts to initiate positive change,” said City Manager Greg Burris.
The effort is called the Community Listen Zone Blitz and involves nearly 200 community partner organizations and 300 volunteers. And it’s just now really getting started.
After creating the heat maps, the City of Springfield teamed up in May 2015 with an initial group of 40 community partner organizations, such as Springfield Public Schools, health care systems, banking institutions, nonprofits and members of the faith community to hear directly from residents what they liked best about their neighborhoods and what they most wanted to change within their neighborhoods.
The three-week tour took place in nine Zone 1 neighborhoods at local elementary schools. This opened up a dialogue that identified the top three concerns to be: 1) chronic nuisance properties, 2) sidewalks and infrastructure and 3) public safety.
After the listening meetings, the City immediately began work on the top three areas of concern identified by Zone 1 neighbors.
“As talks continued, and as more and more people saw the heat maps, additional partners signed on, and we began to uncover creative additional ways we can all work together. The top three concerns became the top nine concerns, as we ultimately reached consensus on the things that we thought were critical to improving the overall Zone 1 community. In essence: to make life in Zone 1, and eventually all of Springfield, better,” said Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement. “Residents in these neighborhoods knew what needed to be done and agreed to help be a major part of the process.”
Eleven “topic teams” were created and only met a couple of times to brainstorm and set a strategy. The work of nine of those teams corresponded to focus areas identified through various types of research and meetings and an additional two teams focused on communication and civic engagement.
Word spread about the focus areas the teams were trying to address, and soon City staff and Zone 1 Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson were invited to speak “in neighborhoods, at churches and schools and civic clubs, and to meet with individuals representing about any type of group you can think of,” Scott said.
“Everyone from high school students to retired folks came to Cora and me with great ideas to make Springfield better. And by connecting these individuals and groups and responding to challenges identified by all concerned, a roster of projects emerged,” Burris explained.
The original discussion reviewing crime data, ultimately led to a list of public safety projects included as part of the Blitz. As of the official launch July 11, 2016, there were 60 Zone Blitz projects that have either been completed, are in the planning phase, are about to start, or are currently underway.
At Monday’s official launch, the City’s Director of Workforce Development, Mary Ann Rojas, announced that Springfield has been awarded a $129,000 grant from the State Department of Workforce Development for a pre-apprenticeship program to offer on-the-job, “earning while learning” training and that the Workforce Investment Board recently approved opening a Zone 1 Job Center. Zone Blitz partner CoxHealth worked with Rojas to find a location on the first floor of Cox Medical Tower.
The list of partners also continues to grow. Today, nearly 200 partners have committed, some of which are fully engaged in Zone Blitz projects and others who are waiting in the wings to see where they are needed or how they can help.
The focus areas include: chronic nuisance properties, housing,digital divide, (inequality with regard to access to, use of, or impact of information and communication technologies) infrastructure and transportation,jobs and economic development, food access,public safety,health care and wellness.
Another trend the City’s heat maps revealed was significantly higher rates of poverty in northwest Springfield, exceeding the city’s 25.6 percent overall poverty rate. The Community Foundation of the Ozarks stepped forward to launch a $1.3 million privately funded program, called The Northwest Project, to take place in conjunction with the Zone Blitz at a community hub called The Fairbanks in Zone 1’s Grant Beach Neighborhood.
Bridget Dierks, CFO’s grant program officer, said she hopes the five-year project will become a transformative model for the community, where immediate needs are addressed, but also families will be helped to achieve their own dreams for success.
“I’m proud of my fellow north side neighbors, who work so hard to make Springfield’s north side a great place to live,” said Zone 1 Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson. “I’m proud of my City Council colleagues who have shown support for this initiative because they know what it means for the entire community – not just Zone 1.”
Ferguson said Craig Fishel, a Councilman from Springfield’s Zone 4, where many of Springfield’s most affluent residents are located, has been particularly helpful after attending all nine listening sessions in 2015.
“Instead of ignoring the challenges that residents face in other parts of the City, Craig has instead chosen to learn all that he can about those challenges and has worked to bring organizations and people together from across the city,” said Ferguson.
Burris said that the response from the faith community has been “incredible” and is encouraged by an effort he and Scott have started to bring vastly different church congregations together to help work on the common vision.
“The Zone Blitz will be an 18-month project that will attempt to ‘move the needle’ on poverty within our community. To attack a challenge that is this complex and multifaceted, it can only work if every sector of our community gets involved – it only works as a barn raising,” Burris said. “For example, bringing diverse partners within our faith-based sector together to address a unifying challenge of poverty has the potential to be a ‘healing moment’ within our community. We’re more alike than different, and every faith-based organization has this in their mission.”
A project list and “menu of opportunities" for partners is beginning to take shape and is available online at springfieldmo.gov/zoneblitz.
Later this summer, individuals and organizations will be able to sign up for specific volunteer opportunities through a centralized, online volunteer service coordinating participant needs and reducing the overlap of services. Drury’s Community Outreach and Leadership Development Office is managing the online component, in coordination with The Northwest Project.
Ferguson said she is most proud of the City staff and community partners who work so well together, despite busy schedules and sometimes what seem to be competing interests.
“The focus areas we identified are not necessarily easy to address: a communities health and wellness; easy access to healthy foods; a safe place to lay our heads at night; miles of roadways and infrastructure to maintain; good, steady jobs; public safety; those slumlords who don’t take care of their properties and then take advantage of people who cannot afford to make waves or move somewhere else. In north Springfield, however, we are get-it-done type of people. And we have challenged ourselves, challenged our community – and I promise you, that we will GET. IT. DONE,” she said.
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For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-864-1009 or visit springfieldmo.gov/zoneblitzRead on...
The City of Springfield's July 2016 1% general sales tax check from the Missouri Department of Revenue is down 12%, or $528,385, compared to the amount budgeted. The check reflects sales processed by the state in June from transa...Read on...
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That’s the message the Springfield Fire Department wants to communicate regarding the need to keep fire hydrants visible and clear of landscaping and overgrown grass.
A fire this morning on East Southview is a stark reminder of this adage because fire crews were unable to locate the nearest hydrant, requiring them to locate a different hydrant farther away. The house suffered significant damage.
“To me, a fire hydrant is a symbol of history, character, and safety and security. I don’t understand why many want to hide them behind landscaping, particularly when it can have serious consequences,” says Fire Chief David Hall.
Or, as Fire Marshal Epps puts it, “the eyesore isn’t the hydrant, it’s a burned-out home.”
The department has the following reminders for those with hydrants on their property:
• Hydrants must not be camouflaged or disguised in any manner.• No plants or grasses are to be planted around hydrants.• Fences and other objects must be at least three feet from hydrants.• Hydrants are not to be repainted except by authorized personnel and only the approved color for the location of that hydrant.• Emergency personnel and those with metered devices are authorized to operate hydrants.• Notify authorities if you suspect unauthorized use of a hydrant.
The color of the paint indicates whether it is a public or private hydrant. Firefighters are trained to look for specific colors during an emergency.
"When it’s dark and flames are shooting in the air, there are a million things going through the firefighters' minds about what they need to do," Hall added. "The ability to quickly locate a hydrant can mean the difference between saving a home or not. Possibly even a life. Fortunately, in this case, everyone was able to escape the home.”
As City Utility crews flush hydrants, or as they are reported, any vegetation that obscures hydrants will be removed. Hydrants that are not painted the authorized color will be repainted.
Fire officials ask residents to ensure the hydrants in their area are clear of obstructions and painted the appropriate color. Residents that have hydrants in need of service can contact City Utilities at 417-831-8393.
For more information and example locations, contact: Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines at 417-864-1527Read on...
The City of Springfield Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Commercial Street community, will introduce reverse-angle parking to C-Street as an eight-week pilot beginning Saturday, July 9.
Reverse-angle parking...Read on...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Residents on City wastewater service will see a planned rate increase beginning July 1. The City of Springfield contracts with City Utilities for sanitary sewer services billing, so customers will notice this change on their August CU bills.
Sewer rates are based on water consumption. This is because the majority of residents’ water goes down drains and toilets and ends up in the wastewater system. Springfield Cleanwater Services charges a minimum customer charge and an additional rate for each 100 cubic feet (CCF) of water used. One CCF equals 748 gallons.
An average residential customer uses 6 CCF and currently receives a bill for $28.11 per month. Following the July 1, 2016 effective date, a residential user with a 6 CCF use will receive a bill for $28.94, or a 3% increase.
Rate increases were approved by Springfield City Council in spring 2011, following the recommendations of a community stakeholder group appointed to consider changes to Springfield’s wastewater system, including rates.
The 2016 rate increase is the last of the planned increases approved in 2011. A new rate structure will be proposed to City Council later this summer.
For more information about City Wastewater improvements, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/cleanwater or call Sewer Revenue Technician Kristy Haynes at 417-867-1924.
Media contact: Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352Read on...
Frank Romines has been selected as the City of Springfield’s City Attorney, effective July 13. He currently serves as senior corporate counsel for Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.
Romines began his career as an associate attorney ...Read on...
The City of Springfield was officially recognized today by EPA Region 7 for its successful 17-year history of redevelopment of formerly polluted properties. Since 1999, using a little more than $7 million in EPA Brownfields grants and technical assistance, the city has leveraged more than $460 million in public and private investments toward the revitalization of former brownfields, with more projects underway.
EPA Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague praised Springfield’s elected leaders and city staff for their work with EPA, other federal and state government agencies, community businesses, developers, universities, non-profit groups and volunteers, compiling an impressive track record of turning brownfield properties back to productive use for the community.
“Springfield is a stellar example of how a community can make smart and effective use of EPA Brownfields assistance to literally transform its landscape,” Hague said. “The city has shown how small, targeted investments can provide momentum for environmental improvement and economic growth.”
Since Springfield began its local Brownfields program in 1999, the city has applied for and received 17 separate EPA Brownfields grants, totaling $6.3 million, along with non-cash technical assistance valued at more than $800,000, for a total of $7.1 million in support from the agency.
Significantly, Springfield has successfully competed for funding and assistance in each of the four major grant categories that the EPA Brownfields Program offers: funding for environmental property assessments, money to establish revolving loan funds, grants for cleanup of hazardous wastes and petroleum, and as of just last month, an EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grant to the city’s Missouri Job Center to recruit, train and place local workers into the kinds of green environmental jobs that brownfields projects typically require.
To date, Springfield has used EPA Brownfields assistance to conduct more than 260 environmental property assessments, on projects large and small. Fully 70 percent of those assessments indicated a need for further environmental cleanup. Redevelopment has already occurred on more than 100 of those assessed properties, and other projects are underway.
“When you see how $7 million in EPA Brownfields assistance has already helped spur $460 million in additional investments in the city, we can all see the value in targeted EPA assistance leveraging other public and private investments,” Hague said.
Springfield’s portfolio of Brownfields projects includes the Jordan Valley Park; Hammons Field—home of the Springfield Cardinals; the History Museum on the Square; the Aspen Springfield housing project, the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center; the Butler, Rosenbury & Partners architecture firm’s offices; the reclamation of the West Meadows former rail yard; the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab; Jordan Valley Community Health Center; numerous affordable housing developments, and no fewer than 18 businesses or properties along or near a 10-block section of the Commercial Street Historic District, among many others.
One of those businesses, the White River Brewing Company, at 505 W. Commercial Street, hosted a visit today by Hague and other EPA officials. The microbrewery occupies the site of a former feed mill and coal yard, in a structure built in 1924 that saw use as a peanut butter plant, automotive repair shop, filling station, and metal fabrication business. In 2007, John “Buz” Hosfield bought the vacant building, and in 2012, after environmental site assessment, cleanup and renovation, it opened as a microbrewery. As a former brownfield, the project benefitted directly from EPA-funded Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments, and from EPA-provided Sustainable Design and Adaptive Reuse technical assistance.
“Resources like these from EPA’s Brownfields Program will contribute to the long-term success of the partnership that the City of Springfield, Greene County and City Utilities have forged to develop the Integrated Plan for the Environment,” Hague said. “This plan’s citizen-focused approach toward assessing and prioritizing environmental resources and requirements is endorsed by EPA, and will build an even better, stronger, and more sustainable community.”
For more information, contact : Chris Whitley, EPA, at 913-551-7394 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Cora Scott, City of Springfield, at 417-864-1009, email@example.com.
• Learn about EPA’s brownfields program.• Learn about Springfield's brownfields program.• Learn about EPA Region 7Read on...
More than 300 attendees gathered to hear Mayor Bob Stephens share his views this morning about the state of Springfield during his last State of the City address during the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning Sprin...Read on...
Springfield was named the 11th Best City for Staycations in a recent study by WalletHub.com.
To help Americans find the best staycation spots in the U.S. ? and the ones worth leaving home for ? WalletHub¹s number crunchers com...Read on...
Discount tickets are now available for several Missouri theme parks through the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, in partnership with the Missouri Park and Recreation Association.
These discount ticket prices include no additional fees or tax.
...Read more »
(Media advisory: For safety and security, media are not allowed in the gate of any outdoor pool without prior clearance through Parks Administration. Please make arrangements before arriving.)
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s six outdoor poo...Read more »
The Ozark Region Workforce Development Board and the Missouri Job Center will be assisting two separate businesses on Wednesday, May 25. The Missouri Job Center's Mobile Career Center will be at Mediacom, 1533 S Enterprise Ave, ...Read on...
A $200,000 grant to The Missouri Job Center will provide job opportunities in the city’s northwest quadrant. The grant funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be used to recruit, train and place local unemployed a...Read on...
Springfield was named the eighth Best City to Start a Business in a recent study by WalletHub.com.
In order to identify the best cities to start a business, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities acro...Read on...
Springfield, Missouri - The Ozark Region Workforce Development Board is releasing a Pre-Apprenticeship program in May to assist individuals with gaining experience while working towards a Registered Apprenticeship in the Construc...Read on...
Springfield was named the 17th Best City for Hispanic Entrepreneurs in a recent study by WalletHub.com.
To help Hispanic entrepreneurs find the most fertile ground for their enterprises, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 l...Read on...
Springfield, Mo. — The Springfield Lasers Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) Pro League team has announced its 2016 season schedule.
The Lasers schedule includes six home matches at the Mediacom Tennis Stadium, in Springfield’s Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E ...Read more »
The Federal Bureau of Investigation April 11 announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of artwork stolen from the Springfield Art Museum.
It is believed the break in and theft occurred sometime during the early morning hours on April 7, at which time seven of 10 Andy Warhol editioned prints on display at the museum were taken.
The collection, which has been owned by the Springfield Art Museum since 1985, is Set number 31 of the Campbell’s Soup I collection and is valued at approximately $500,000.
Each piece in the editioned screen print collection based on paintings created by Warhol in 1962 measures 37 inches high by 24.5 inches wide and are framed in white frames. Images of the stolen artwork are included in the FBI’s April 11 press release.
“We appreciate the outpouring of support of the Springfield community and the quick response of the Springfield Police Department and FBI,” said Art Museum Director Nick Nelson. “For those of us who work at the museum and in Springfield’s art community, the theft of these iconic Warhol prints that the museum has had in our permanent collection for 30 years feels like the loss of a family member. We appreciate any assistance the public can provide to law enforcement to ensure the return of these treasured pieces of art.”
The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the stolen artwork. Anyone with information should contact the FBI Springfield, Missouri office directly at 417-882-3303 or the Springfield Police Department TIPS line at 417-869-TIPS. Additionally, individuals may contact their local law enforcement agency.
“The museum is working with the proper authorities and being proactive in our security efforts as we remain open to the public. We are confident that the measures we are taking will protect the museum’s treasures, while still making art accessible to our community,” Nelson said.
For information about the investigation, please contact Lisa Cox, Springfield Police Department Public Affairs Officer, at 417-864-1786 or Lcox@springfieldmo.govRead on...
The City of Springfield and Birthplace of Route 66 Festival partners KY3, Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. and Ozarks On Two Wheels announced the 2016 festival event lineup at a press conference at the historic Gillioz Theatre March...Read on...
Springfield was named the 5th Best City to Get Married in a recent study by WalletHub.com.
To help couples find the most wedding-friendly destinations, WalletHub¹s analysts compared 150 of the biggest cities across 18 key indi...Read on...
The City of Springfield offers challenging employment opportunities to people interested in careers in public service at the municipal level. View job openings.