by: Scott McCaulley
The Branson Board of Alderman has given first round approval for the architectural firm that will develop plans for new Branson Public Safety Facilities.
Architects Design Group of Florida will design the Branson Fire Station Number Four which will be located on Highway 165 near Pointe Royale while the new location for Police Headquarters will be located on Forsythe Street near Tanger Mall.
Final approval for the work to commence is expected at the next board meeting on May 28. The money for these projects has been generated from the Public Safety Tax that was passed by Branson Voters in 2017.
Plans for a new police headquarters and new fire station are moving forward in Branson.
On Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen gave first round approval to hiring an architectural company to start on the design of both buildings.
An about five-acre piece of property near Tanger Mall will become the new police station and the new fire station will be in the southern part of town.
“We are sitting at about 9,500 square feet right now and we are hoping to move into a building of no more than 45,000 square feet,” Police Chief Chief Jeff Matthews said.
Chief Matthews says that’s much-needed space, but it’s not only for officers.
“It will house to police department, but it will also have a community room,” Chief Matthews said. “It’s their facility.”
Money from the public safety sales tax, passed in 2017, will pay for the new stations.
“[We are] Making progress as promised,” Fire Chief Ted Martin said.
Chief Martin says the new station, located off Highway 165 near Pointe Royale, will provide faster response to that area.
“[It is in] an area that we see higher response times, hitting six, eight, ten, or 12 minutes,” Chief Martin said.
If the board given second round approval to hiring the architectural company at the next meeting, the company will begin phase one of the design process. That phase includes determining space needs now and in the future.
“So, they look beyond the current to find out just how big of a space we will need in the year 2040,” Chief Matthews said.
After that, they’ll move forward with actual design of the buildings.
“We are trying to go step by step so we can be fiscally responsible to have great transparency and oversight to get the best bang for the dollar,” Chief Martin said.
The chiefs agree, the new stations will not only benefit public safety, but also infrastructure and development in Branson.
“So that we can provide the best fire rescue, police, public safety features,” Chief Martin said. “In a community.”
As the planning progresses, Chief Martin and Chief Matthews say the public will have their say in the design of the buildings. KY3/KSPR News will keep you posted as those public meetings are scheduled in the future.