Missouri Governor Mike Parson Proclaims May 1-7, 2022, Missouri Local Government Week
MML announces Innovation Award winners to recognize Missouri Local Government Week, with winning projects including green initiatives, sensory improvements, and downtown revitalization.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Today, Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared May 1-7, 2022, to be Missouri Local Government Week in Missouri. He spent time this afternoon meeting with local officials from Missouri cities, counties, and school boards.
Local Government Week is an ideal time to thank your local officials and local government employees for their dedication to keeping essential services running in your community. Working together, your cities, counties, and schools are the backbone of your community.
“Local government is closest to the people,” said Joe Garritano, city of Wildwood council member and Missouri Municipal League president. “It makes our community a great place to live and work.”
“Take a moment this week and just consider who is taking care of your parks,” said Garritano. “Who keeps your streets repaired and clean, and where does the water in your tap come from? Local government is the closest level of government to affect our day-to-day lives and is behind what makes our communities thrive.”
To highlight this week, the Missouri Municipal League is announcing our annual Innovation Award winners. Four communities stood out from this year’s applicants to show creative ways to improve services for citizens.
Awards are based on city population size, except for the Member Choice award, where MML members vote for their favorite project regardless of city size. This year, MML received 17 nominations from municipalities statewide, demonstrating the creativity and ingenuity within local government. It also illustrates the valuable partnerships city officials are developing with other cities, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and citizens.
Learn more about Local Government Week at www.mocities.com and find more information regarding the MML Innovation Awards, including a summary of all submissions, at www.mocities.com/Innovation.
2022 MML Innovation Award Winners:
Extra Large-sized City (population greater than 30,000) and Member Choice
City of St. Peters
GOLD GROW Biosolids Compost
The City turns waste into “gold” for people’s lawns, gardens, and many of Missouri’s leading vineyards. The City of St. Peters Earth Centre is where the team combines biosolids from their wastewater treatment process with the yard waste collected from area residents to create a nutrient-rich, environmentally friendly soil amendment. Today, happy customers line up with trucks, trailers, and buckets to enjoy Earth Centre’s award-winning GOLD GROW product at market rates. Biosolids composting reduces waste and associated costs, reduces the City’s carbon footprint, improves the quality of the soil and waterways, and helps manage stormwater runoff.
Large-sized City (population between 15,000-30,000)
City of Nixa
In October 2021, Nixa unveiled a new sensory path at one of the city parks. The sensory path was designed to provide those with sensory needs with a quieter space. Since the path was being created in a park that already had walking paths but could not have traditional playground equipment, the construction cost less than $1,200, and The Nixa Community Foundation provided a grant to help add the path to the park. The attendance within this park grew dramatically as people took advantage of the new activities. The activities can be implemented anywhere a hard surface exists or is created, as they are simply spray-painted on the path, and small signs are installed to give simple instruction.
Medium-sized City (population between 5,000-15,000)
City of Willard
Jackson Street Park Solar Project
This project will remove common barriers to extended time in outdoor spaces by utilizing solar energy to power USB charging stations in outdoor spaces difficult to reach by conventional methods. Quick and easy access to charging stations for cell phones, tablets, and laptops provides the opportunity for extended play time without the fear of a dead cell phone battery and helps to move the office outdoors. Willard Parks and Recreation, in partnership with NewTek Energy, LLC, has multiple features, including emergency lights, call stations, and security cameras, as well as charging stations for cell phones and laptops.
Small-sized City (population less than 5,000)
The Downtown Project
With a deteriorating downtown area, loss of identity, and disinvestment in the city, there were 16 vacant buildings in the downtown area of the City in early 2017. It was then the City, in cooperation with the Campbell Downtown Development Corporation, and local businesses came together to revitalize the downtown area. The City implemented a five-year plan that has resulted in re-establishing the downtown area as a center of activity. The Downtown Project has been successful in that almost every downtown building has been completely remodeled and occupied. The success of The Downtown Project has resulted in increased foot traffic, employment, and sales tax due to new businesses and activities.
The Missouri Municipal League provides a united voice for municipalities across Missouri. Founded in 1934, MML serves more than 645 municipalities with training, resources, and legislative advocacy for local government success. Learn more at www.mocities.com/.