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The City of Branson is returning to their old format for the Fall Clean-Up.

The city has been conducting spring and fall cleanups for over 20 years. In 2019, the city conducted two-week long spring and fall cleanups that cost the city $39,871. The first week, the city would pick up large items like appliances, mattresses, and refrigerators. The second week crews would pick up large tree limbs and brush.

City staff said the drawback of the previous cleanup system is that it would take public works staff away from normal street maintenance duties during the scheduled cleanup times. 

“We had to basically shut everything down,” Keith Francis, Branson Director of Public Works, told the board.

In 2020, because of COVID-19, the city changed the fall event to a two-day cleanup with dumpsters placed at the Cooper Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the spring event was a one-day Saturday drop off at the same location.

The cost of the 2020 two-day drop-off event to the city was $6,780. The one-day drop off cost was just under $2,000, according to Francis.

Alderman Ruth Denham asked Francis if there was not a pick-up scheduled by the city, if there would be an option provided for citizens who had no way to bring their items to the drop-off location, such as paying the city to pick up the items.

“We’ve never done that in the past,” Francis replied. “I’m not saying we couldn’t, but we’ve never done that method in the past.”

“[Residents] said they can’t put the tree limbs in the Volkswagen,” Dunham said.

Alderman Jeff Seay also commented that he had residents telling him they had trouble with getting trucks to load items. Seay said there’s no real option between the two choices and the city can’t really use a third-party.

“Bottom line is we’ve been doing the pickup for ,give or take, 20 years,” Mayor Larry Milton said.

Alderman Bill Skains asked about electronics, because he said a number of residents told him they had electronic devices “stacked up” in their garages and storage areas.

“We have phone numbers on our ad lists for people to call and take [electronics],” Francis said. “We don’t take stuff like that. If I remember right, Best Buy will take them and one business in Springfield.”

Francis there really isn’t an option for the city to pick up electronics because some are tubes and some have mercury. Staff said the city has a contract with Computer Recycling Center in Springfield, but they didn’t know if that company took residential drop-offs.

Skains noted it’s a large issue, and that residents are not calling him about mattresses, but CRTs and flat screen TVs.

“It’s something we as a county should be doing,” Seay said. 

Milton said he would like to get community feedback on that issue, but overall, the residents have indicated to him they want to return to the old format for the clean-up.

Alderman Jamie Whiteis commented that the city is looking at budget issues for the next fiscal year right now and doing drop-offs would save the city some money.

Denham moved to return the clean up the format used for over 20 years, but the motion died because no one would second it. Alderman Cody Fenton asked how much of the cost was payroll versus other items like dump fees. Francis said that dump fees are just a small part, and that payroll is the biggest cost. Fenton then asked Dunham to remake her motion.

Alderman Skains asked Francis to clarify whether public works staff stops if there is a water line blowout or other emergency, and Francis said they did. 

After Denham remade her motion, it passed 5-0.

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