A Note from Greg
2013 Significant Accomplishments

2013 significant accomplishments graphic

As we begin the first full work week in 2014, I want to take a moment to thank you for all of the hard work you did to make 2013 a banner year at the City. Your work is appreciated and recognized by many in our community and continues to set us apart from other cities as a great place to live. Together, we have achieved some significant accomplishments that I would like to share with you.

Watch the Year in Review video.

Airport

  • Began a direct flight to Fort Myers/Punta Gorda on Allegiant in October.
  • Received 8th consecutive clean Federal Aviation Administration certification inspection.
  • General Dynamic’s Carthage facility was added as airport’s 2nd Foreign Trade Zone Operator.
  • Expedia completed a second expansion, bringing the Springfield employee count to more than 1,000.
  • Received $450,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant for Airline Service Development.

Building Development Services

  • The City’s Building Development Services, Planning and Public Works Departments completed the implementation of the ProjectDox electronic plan review software and online permit payments. Springfield is the first City in Missouri to implement such a program.

Community

  • The City of Springfield, Greene County and Springfield City Utilities made progress working cooperatively to develop an “Integrated Plan” framework that will allow a more holistic approach to the various unfunded environmental mandates. City representatives met with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to pitch these alternative ideas. Members of the citizen-based Springfield-Greene County Unfunded Environmental Mandates Affordability Task Force presented a report to Springfield City Council, Greene County Commission and the Board of Public Utilities in January.
  • Received report from the Park Central Square Task Force. Among the recommendations where three ordinances addressing skateboarding, panhandling and food distribution downtown.
  • Voters approved the renewal of the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Tax in April by a margin of 74%-26%.
  • Mayor Bob Stephens officially designated Springfield as a “Let’s Move” city as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity. The First Lady visited in June.
  • TAG SGF magazine partnered with the Department of Public Information to host a 100th Birthday Party for Springfield on Park Central Square in April.
  • The City convened a group of stakeholders to explore the feasibility of a 30,000-square-foot community greenhouse operation, powered by renewable energy generated by the Noble Hill Renewable Energy Project of the Springfield Sanitary Landfill.
  • Field Guide 2030 planning committee co-chairs presented the plan’s vision and goals to City Council and Greene County Commission via a series of study sessions.
  • Mayor Bob Stephens commissioned a Joint City-County Planning Task Force to address areas of mutual interest.
  • Springfield recognized as the country’s 13th Best City for Job Growth.
  • Springfield recognized as having the lowest cost of living in Missouri.
  • With help from Public Works, the City received a $200,000 grant from ArtPlace America, a prestigious consortium of foundations and the National Endowment of the Arts. It was the first awarded in Missouri.
  • As a founding member of the Greater Springfield Race & Faith Collaborative, the City helped spearhead a Unity March to the Square, followed by a rally and public showing of the Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech. 1,500 participated.
  • The Greater Springfield Race & Faith Collaborative kicked off a yearlong educational effort.
  • Springfield was proclaimed a “Purple Heart” City.
  • More than 1000 people attended the 4th annual Springfield Jazz Festival, organized by the City of Springfield, UDA, and Missouri State University.
  • The City hosted a “Food Summit” to convene food pantry and food bank operators to discuss potential threats to our community’s food security.

Council

Economic Development

  • Downtown landmarks have high hopes for the future, as plans for the renovation of the Heer’s Building, Woodruff, Frisco and McDaniel all moved forward.
  • Worked with developers to establish the Springfield Plaza Tax Increment Finance District, the City’s first developer-driven retail TIF which will provide incentives to develop much-needed retail and office activity on Springfield’s west side.

Employee Engagement

  • 44% of City employees received voluntary Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) as part of the inBalance Employee Wellness Program.
  • inBalance launched another successful Boot Camp program and spearheaded a Battle of the Bootcamps, National Walk Day and a snowman-building competition.
  • Springfield Fire Department and Health Department trained 97% of the City’s employees on CPR/AED.

Environmental Services

  • Public Works and Environmental Services was among only 1% of agencies in the country to achieve accreditation from the American Public Works Association (APWA) in June.
  • The Wilsons Creek Conservation Easement Project received a national achievement award in the Operations and Environmental Performance category from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).
  • The Private Sewer Repair Pilot Program won the national achievement award in the Public Information and Education category from NACWA.
  • The Southwest Clean Water Treatment Plant received their eight consecutive Peak Performancwe Award for zero permit violations.
  • The Northwest Clean Water Treatment Plant received their fourth consecutive Peak Performance Award for zero permit violations.
  • Remained in 100% compliance with all environmental regulations and permits.

Finance

  • The Finance Department successfully converted to City Re-Link (Oracle enterprise resource planning software).
  • The City received a clean audit from external auditors BKD, the highest rating.
  • The Finance Department received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers’ Association for the 36th year in a row.
  • The City began a 10-year budget planning process.

Park Board

  • Park Board’s 100th Birthday Bash took place May 18 at Phelps Grove Park.
  • American tennis icon Andy Roddick came out of retirement to join World Team Tennis as the Springfield Lasers’ marquee player. The Lasers went on to become the 2013 WTT Western Conference Champions, with Roddick playing six regular season matches, including two home matches in Springfield, as well as the WTT Finals match in Washington, DC.  
  • Dan Kinney Family Center opened Jan. 12.
  • Doling Aquatics addition opened Feb. 23.
  • Doling Lake and Waterway improvements dedication June 14.
  • Springfield hosted the 87th Annual National Public Parks Tennis Championships July 27-Aug. 4.

Planning

  • Springfield received a $400,000 Brownfield grant from the EPA for environmental assessments of 30 City-wide properties potentially contaminated with either petroleum or hazardous substances.
  • Launched Great Neighborhoods, a new incentive program to encourage neighborhoods to create clean, safe and friendly environments. Awarded funds to seven neighborhoods at the annual NOVA awards ceremony.
  • Continued Route 66 revitalization efforts along the College Street Corridor to celebrated Springfield’s role as the “Birthplace of Route 66.”
  • Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the City launched the Springfield Community Land Trust program in April and opened the Springfield Affordable Housing Center in June.
  • Acquired properties and began construction on the West Wye railroad project, which will help to minimize car/train/pedestrian conflicts.
  • Managed environmental remediation in West Meadows and completed all earth work related to the cleanup – received a No Further Action (NFA) Letter from DNR for Site 1 with NFA’s for Sites 2 - 8 in process.
  • Managed the Former Manufactured Gas Plant (FMGP) environmental investigation process acting as the Lead Agency – entered into MOU with BNSF and CU, procured environmental consultant.

Public Health

  • The Springfield Animal Shelter and its rescue partners reached the milestone of two full years of getting every adoptable dog out of the shelter and into “forever” homes.
  • Springfield-Greene County Health Department partnered with others in the community to open the Greater Ozarks Regional Mother’s Milk Depot as part of the Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, located at Jordan Valley Community Health Center. The Milk Depot is a milk bank for pre-screened women to donate breast milk.

Public Information and Information Systems

Public Safety

  • The Republic Police Department and Greene County Sheriff’s Office converted to the Niche Records Management System, the same system used by the Springfield Police Department (SPD), resulting in increased sharing of information.
  • SPD partnered with Planning & Development; Public Information; Springfield Fire Department and Community Partnership of the Ozarks for the annual National Night Out celebration at Meador Park, Aug. 6.
  • In an effort to improve communication with the news media and citizens, SPD and PIO hired a civilian Public Affairs Officer, Lisa Cox.
  • SPD ramped up crime prevention efforts through the addition of Business Watch, and by creating a public awareness campaign to educate citizens on what they can do to be part of the solution.
  • SPD convened a Family Violence Task Force and partnered with the Public Information Department on a domestic violence awareness campaign.
  • Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications telecommunicator Stacey Blair and 7-year-old Kailee Mangan were recognized by the Missouri Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.
  • Zim Schwartze became the new Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Director. The department provides 911 services to 21 emergency response agencies within Greene County.
  • Merged Republic’s 911 Emergency Communications office into Springfield-Greene County’s 911 Emergency Communications Department.
  • Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications completed the implementation of a new computer-aided dispatch system which is used cooperatively by all local law enforcement agencies and Fire departments for responding to 911 calls.
  • Springfield Fire Department debuted four new, red fire trucks June 14.
  • In May, Springfield and Greene County were re-designated as a Safe Community by the World Health Organization and the National Safety Council/Safe Communities America.
  • Public Works Traffic Division launched an innovative traffic safety education campaign for kids, featuring “Danger Ranger” cartoon characters.

Public Works

  • Public Works and Environmental Services was among only 1% of agencies in the country to achieve accreditation from the American Public Works Association (APWA) in June.
  • Public Works implemented a new contractor rating system to maintain data regarding the performance of those who construct public improvements.
  • As of September 2013, Springfield joined nearly 300 other communities across the U.S. as a bicycle-friendly community, as designated by the American League of Bicyclists.
  • Began work on the Ward Branch Stormwater and Trail Improvement Project and Close Park. These are the last two projects promised to be constructed under the 2006 Springfield-Greene County Parks/Stormwater Sales Tax. That tax had a sunset in June 2012.

Workforce Development

  • Hired Mary Ann Rojas as the City’s new Workforce Development Director.
  • The Workforce Investment Board revised the Workforce Development Strategic Plan.
  • Missouri Career Center provided support for Regal-Beloit workers after plant closure announcement.

In Memoriam


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