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Branson aldermen approve school purchase, energy performance contract

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At its July 12 meeting, the Branson Board of Alderman voted to buy a vacant downtown school building and approved borrowing funds for a project that would make City Hall and the convention center more energy-efficient.
 
The city of Branson will spend $200,000, spread across three years, to buy the old Branson High School from the Branson School District, following board approval.
 
According to a news release from the city, the building at 300 S. Sixth St. has not been used by the school district for nearly 10 years. There are no immediate plans for the structure, but the city is working to redevelop the property to benefit its downtown neighborhood and the city as a whole, the release said.
 
The city of Branson has received a $5,000 grant from the American Institute of Architects that will enable a team of architects to look at the school and the surrounding neighborhood to determine the best long-term use for the property. Students from Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture will be part of the team exploring future uses of the school structure, and that team could begin its work in late August, the release said.
 
The board also approved a contract with Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell for a $1 million project to make City Hall and the convention center more energy efficient. The city will borrow money for the project, but the expected energy savings – $34,000 a year or more than $500,000 in 15 years – will be sufficient for paying off the loan, the release said. The city also will be compensated if improvements, including more efficient motors in the ventilation system, HVAC and lighting upgrades, don’t deliver the savings guaranteed by Burns & McDonnell.
 
In other business, the board approved first-reading bids for purchasing snow plows and salt spreader for Public Works, a truck for Parks & Recreation and resurfacing of tennis and basketball courts at three city parks. The board postponed a decision on a contract to improve the Police Department’s technology equipment until its July 26 meeting at the request of Neosho-based Southwest Communications. The company, which got the bid for $96,000, requested the delay due to the loss of two key personnel whose positions need to be filled, the release said. The new receivers are expected to provide radio coverage in areas where it has been problematic for Police and Fire personnel.[[In-content Ad]]

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