Branson Mayor Karen Best is headed to Washington D.C. Friday, March 9th 2018 for The National League of Cities (NLC) 2018 Congressional City Conference. There she will join city leaders from across the Country to represent and advocate for the interests of cities in the Nation's Capital. She will also attend the Mayors’ Educational Task Force and the NLC Board of Directors Meeting.
While in D.C. the Mayor has received a special invitation to the White House for the Mayors’ Infrastructure Discussion where she has been asked for a list of Branson’s specific infrastructure needs. Mayor Best hopes to advocate for equal access to infrastructure funding for small communities who often times get passed up for larger communities.
In addition, she is seeking funding for protection of wastewater treatment facilities due to the amount of flooding over the past three years. She feels it is very important to protect these assets as the cost to rebuild the Compton Wastewater Facility is $1 million. If that facility floods, raw sewage would flow into Lake Taneycomo which would go through the White Water Basin System.
“I am grateful the White House is taking notice of Branson, Missouri and our specific needs. I appreciate the opportunity to share Branson’s story on the national level where decisions can be quickly made to impact our community,” said Mayor Best.
Mayor Best will return to Branson Friday March 16, 2018.
Here is the response to the White House the Mayor sent:
Thank you for the invitation to attend the Mayors’ infrastructure discussion on March 15, 2018. Below is a list of my concerns to be addressed at the meeting:
Branson has experienced three 100-year floods in the past three years. Due to water releases by the Army Corps of Engineers, these floods have presented a challenge to protect one of our wastewater treatment facilities. Should we lose this facility to flooding, raw sewage would freely flow into Lake Taneycomo which would proceed through the White River Basin System. The cost to replace the wastewater treatment facility would be approximately $100,000,000. Access to infrastructure funding would enable us to build a protection wall around this facility for $10,000,000.
This is a nine segment project which includes replacing water lines (some of which are 100-years old), adding duct banks to bury utilities (some of which were downed in the 2012 tornado) along with adding sidewalks to make the pedestrian experience safe. The cost for this project is $14,000,000 for water lines and $50,000,000 for duct banks and design. Our problem: in order to receive funding we must design the entire five mile, nine segment project at one time instead of section by section. In addition, infrastructure funds have not been available for the design process in the past.
The cost for this project is $26,000,000.
In conclusion, these projects present a large challenge for a community of 10,500 residents with an 8,000,000 tourist population each year. We appreciate any assistance the President’s Infrastructure Plan can provide to our community. Please feel free to contact me if you need any additional information or have any questions.
Mayor Karen Best