by: Scott McCaulley

After several weeks of discussion and meetings plus a lengthy discussion of at Tuesday’s Branson Board of Alderman Meeting, Final Approval was given for Mayor Karen Best to execute a contract with Allgeier, Martin, and Associates, Inc. for Engineering and Designing of a Water System Extension Project for areas in the West City Limits of Branson.

Upon the signing of the contract, the firm out of Joplin will work with the City in getting plans for construction of the water system extension to get service to areas that are currently not served around Highway 76 and 376 west of the current Dewy Bald Water Tower plus increase water pressure to areas that are served in that area that are lower now due to the elevated terrain.

The city is also talking with the Missouri Department of Conservation about using an existing easement currently used by White River Valley Electric that would connect the Dewy Bald Tower to a new tower that would be constructed near the Henning Conservation Area.

Pending permission from the MDC for use of the easement, the design and engineering cost would be $257,000 but could go up to $325,000 if the city does not get permission to use the MDC Easement which means an alternate routing plan would be used.

The plan would be for the design and engineering along with the contracts for construction to be completed in time to begin construction of the system in July. The plan also calls for some temporary booster tanks to be installed to get water to those areas during the construction of the system.

The bill passed on a 4-2 vote with aldermen Kevin McConnell and Rick Castillon voting against it over concerns on the vagueness of the scheduling of the project.