Local leaders updated the community on various events and progress taking place during Tuesday night's Community Forum, hosted by the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce.
Local leaders updated the community on various events and progress taking place during Monday night's Community Forum, hosted by the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce.
Pulaski County Presiding Comissioner Gene Newkirk, St. Robert Mayor George Sanders, Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman, Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy, Waynesville R-VI School District Superindendat Judene Blackburn and Dorsey Newcomb of the Leonard Wood Institute and Sustainable Ozarks Partnership served as guest speakers for the event.
Each speaker was given a few minutes to provide the community with an update. Here are a few things each of the leaders discussed.
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office has expanded the County Jail by adding 28 beds. This saves the tax payers $340,000 by no longer having to pay Miller County to house inmates. Pulaski County has installed a drop box in front of the Courthouse for any payments or reports that goes to the courthouse. The drop box is guarded by a security camera. The Devil's Elbow Bridge is expected to be reopened in September after a major facelifting project. Inmates are now painting the courthouse, which helps save money for tax payers. St. Robert
St. Robert will soon be constructing a pedestrian bridge that will connect Kum and Go and Cracker Barrel across I-44 called “Bridging Together.” The construction will begin within the next 45 days. Hardee's in St. Robert is now open. Waynesville
According to recent Census findings, Waynesville has grown in population by 6.4 percent since the last Census in 2010 with a current population of 5,137. the last eight years, more than $4 million has been spent on Downtown Waynesville. Developers are working to bring restaurants and shops to Patriot Landing near the new theatre on GW Lane. Dollar General plans to build a 10,500 square foot store on the corner of Ichord Ave. and Route 66. City continues to work on the Industrial Park and is working to install infrastructure and roads. City sales tax has increased 22.3 percent in the last five years. Property tax value has increased 25.8 percent in the last five years. The City is busy planning a park stage for the Roubidoux Park and a special-needs playground in the City Park. Waynesville has increased the roads and grounds budget by $20,000 each year and plans to pave the second downtown parking lot soon. Fort Leonard Wood
-Best Warrior Competition winners:
Soldier of the Year -- Spc. Joshua Roberts, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Drill Sergeant of the Year -- Staff Sgt. Jonathan Miller, 14th Military Police Brigade Joint Service Junior Enlisted Member of the Year -- Lance Cpl. Jeremy Banks, Marine Corps Detachment Fort Leonard Wood hosted its first SHARP summit with leaders to highlight the significance of preventing sexual assault among leaders and soldiers. Fort Leonard Wood is working with local institutions to give civilian credentials to active-duty soldiers in order to help them secure jobs after their military careers. Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith said “We are working to make Fort Leonard Wood no. 1 in hunting, golf, and community support.” Waynesville School District
Graduation will be held on May 23 in the new Tiger Stadium. 5,827 students are currently enrolled in Waynesville Schools. This is a 2 percent decrease in enrollment from last year. 784 staff members work in Waynesville School District. Army force reductions will affect enrollment over the next two years. They expect a loss of an estimated 400 to 700 students and 60-80 staff members within the next two years. The Waynsville School District is operating on a $71 million budget this year. A FEMA Shelter will be built this fall at East Elementary. Dr. Judene Blackburn will be retiring in June. Waynesville Americorps and Vista teams will soon be recognized by the Missouri Community Service Commision with the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service award. Waynesville Career Center students recently won 23 gold medals at the state-wide Skills USA competition. Superintendent Dr. Judene Blackburn will be retiring in June. Sustainable Ozarks Partnership
Sustainable Ozarks Partnership is a member-based non-profit organization representing Pulaski, Phelps, Laclede, and Texas counties and seeks to preserve and enhance Fort Leonard Wood's mission. Fort Leonard Wood is the fifth-largest employer in Missouri and the state has received an economic boost from the base. SOP has been working for two years establishing credibility to defend Fort Leonard Wood. SOP has worked closely with Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. Missouri has recently scored in the top ten on a military-friendly scorecard.