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Springfield, Nixa honored for innovation

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The cities of Springfield and Nixa are among winners of the Missouri Municipal League’s annual Innovation Awards.

The two municipalities are scheduled to be honored on Sept. 10 in St. Charles for projects that increase the quality of life for residents, according to a news release.

Springfield got the nod for the Give 5 partnership with United Way of the Ozarks. The city will be honored in the “extra large city” category, with a population of more than 30,000.

Give 5 works to connect retired or nearly retired baby boomers with volunteer opportunities. It started as a municipal program before City Council voted in July 2018 to transfer ownership and management to United Way, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The program is preparing to graduate its seventh class, according to the release.

Nixa is being recognized in the “large city” category with a population of 15,000 to 30,000. It’s the third year Nixa has received an Innovation Award from the MML — last year was for its 72-acre solar farm and in 2017, the Community Alternative Sentencing Court was honored.

This year, the MML is giving Nixa an Innovation Award for its staff think tank, according to a news release.

The think tank is designed to create buy-in from staff, form leaders for the city’s talent pipeline and develop solutions for internal issues, according to information provided by Nixa spokesman Drew Douglas.

“The city of Nixa puts a premium on innovation,” Mayor Brian Steele said in a statement provided by Douglas. “As an organization, we always push to find the best possible solutions for the challenges that face our community, which means we have to get creative and innovate.

“The staff think tank is one way we can ensure our organization continues to source innovative solutions.”

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