Missouri Municipal League Showcases Community Innovations To Celebrate Local Government Week
Monday, April 9, 2018
Posted by: Laura Holloway
Missouri Municipal League Showcases Community Innovations
To Celebrate Local Government Week
Missouri celebrates Local Government Week April 8-14, 2018. The week is an ideal time to learn more about how local government serves each citizen in your community every day.
Working together, your cities, counties and schools are the backbone of your community.
“Local government is closest to the people,” said Dan Ross, executive director of the Missouri Municipal League. “It makes what you love most about your community happen, such as your schools, parks or local downtown. Local government also ensures your quality of life through services you may not think about, like clean tap water or repaired streets.”
As part of Local Government Week, MML is showcasing the winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards. These awards honor great projects happening in communities across Missouri that enhance the quality of life for Missouri cities. Awards are based on city population size, with the exception of a Member’s Choice award, where MML members vote for their favorite project regardless of city size.
This year’s winners are:
City of Columbia (Extra Large City, with population more than 30,000)
Community Scholars Program
The Community Scholars Program provides at-risk students and their families with needed support and is centered on the fundamental premise that it takes a whole community to raise a child. At-risk ninth-grade students participated in a summer school class that included job-shadowing opportunities withcCity staff in order to jump start Missouri’s A+ Scholarship Program. Students had the opportunity to earn one unit of high school credit and up to 12 hours of job shadowing that counted towards the 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring for the A+ scholarship. The City’s Career Awareness Related Experience (CARE) program assisted the teachers by providing job readiness skills training and an opportunity to apply for a CARE summer job in 2018.
City of Nixa (Large City, with population 15,000 -30,000)
Missouri’s largest solar farm was developed west of the city of Nixa, providing about 9 percent of the current annual electric demand. The 25-year purchase power agreement will save the City $2.5 million dollars, while reducing the carbon footprint by more than 10,500 metric tons per year. Positive press coverage bolstered the City’s reputation as a progressive community capable of working in public/private partnerships to develop large projects with tangible benefits for the community.
City of Willard (Medium, with population 5,000 – 15,000)
DARE/PAL Outdoor Character Camp
Beginning in 2012, the Willard Police Department, the Police Athletic League (PAL) program and volunteers envisioned using overgrown and unutilized city property to provide a place where youth could interact with police officers beyond their participation in the schools D.A.R.E. program. By accomplishing this outcome, an excellent outdoor environment for youth to be strengthened in the areas of responsibility, honor, self-control and discernment has been realized. Today, youth can center on these competencies with police instructors while learning boxing, tactical jiu-jitsu and camping through the City’s new DARE/PAL Outdoor Character Camp.
City of North Kansas City (Small category, with populations less than 5,000)
Armour Road Pop-Up Parklet
The Armour Road Pop-Up Parklet was a one-day demonstration project that included the installation of decorative crosswalks, a temporary park in three downtown parking spaces, and a temporary bike lane. This was a way to demonstrate the recommendations of the Armour Road Complete Street Plan, engage the community and build support for future street improvements. The pop-up event was successful in engaging with many more community members than a typical public meeting, including many who had not previously attended a public meeting. The event also garnered an extremely high level of media interest that is not typical for a public meeting.
City of Brentwood (Member’s Choice)
Technology to Improve Public Safety
In June 2016, the City implemented low-cost GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) tracking devices in all of its public vehicles. The City partnered with Geocompile, LLC, to develop a data collection and analysis system to analyze the data from the GPS units. Data from the City’s police vehicles was used to manage and improve the delivery of public safety services to the residents. Since implementation, 100 percent of the City is patrolled on a regular basis, incidents of Type I criminal activity have fallen; at least two major crimes have been stopped in progress; and residents have reported a notable increase in police visibility, particularly in residential neighborhoods. The system is completely cloud-based.
The Missouri Municipal League provides a united voice for municipalities across Missouri. Founded in 1934, MML now serves more than 650 municipalities with training, resources and legislative advocacy for local government success. Learn more at www.mocities.com.
The week is sponsored by the following local government organizations:
Missouri Municipal League, www.mocities.com
Missouri Association of Counties, www.mocounties.com
Missouri School Boards’ Association, www.msbanet.org
Missouri Association of Councils of Government, www.macogonline.org
Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, www.stlmuni.org
Mid-America Regional Council, www.marc.org
Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System, www.molagers.org