by: JonChristopher Collins
The first reading of Bill 5947 occurred at the Tuesday Branson Board of Aldermen meeting over Zoom. The ordinance passed and will bring changes to the Branson Recycle Center.
City Attorney Chris Lebeck opened discussion of the bill with a staff report. Lebeck reminded those in attendance that in 2020 the recycle center had to close for a period of time due to COVID-19. “As a result of that, staff started taking a hard look at the recycling center and this Board [Board of Aldermen] was presented with a study session item.” Lebeck said the study session took place in July of 2020. Assistant Administrator Manning presented the Board of Aldermen with that study session in July.
During that session, cost of running the center, needs and the purpose of running it were examined. The Branson Recycle Center reopened in September. At that point, the City started recording statistics on the facility. “Over 72% of the people that use the recycling center during that period of September through the end of the calendar year are residents outside of the city limits of Branson,” Lebeck said.
Less than 30% of people using the Branson Recycle Center live within Branson’s city limits. Due to that fact, the City started conversing with the County regarding the operation of a countywide recycling center. Lebeck said after working with County officials an agreement was reached on Tuesday. They will propose to the Board of Aldermen that Branson’s recycling equipment be transferred to the County. If that is approved in February, the County will run a countywide recycling center with County staff.
That equipment will be given back to the City of Branson should the County decide to stop running the recycle center. Not only would this shared recycling center benefit both the County and Branson residents, but it would also save money. Lebeck said it will save the City approximately $250,000 a year. He also said considering Branson’s numbers as related to COVID-19, staff highly recommended that it be approved.
Bill 5947 was approved by the Board of Aldermen. Alderman Jeff Seay asked when this would be active. Lebeck said that according to the agreement, the County will have the facility by Feb. 1. Lebeck said employees have already been trained. The center will be relocated to the County Transfer Station on Buchanan Road. The bill passed six to zero.