Business/Economy

Business and economy news and issues in the Ozarks.

City of Springfield

The City of Springfield has named Tim Smith as its new deputy city manager. He’ll report to City Manager Greg Burris.

Smith has served as Greene County administrator since 2008, and has been with the county since 1992. In a news release, the city says Smith scaled back to part-time hours and half pay last year in an effort to help the county deal with a budget shortfall.

Smith replaces Gen. Fred Marty, who died last November after a short battle with cancer. Marty had resigned from the position shortly before his death.

Springfield City Hall
KSMU

Springfield voters have renewed the ¾-cent police-fire pension sales tax, which will bring the pension plan to full funding over the next several years.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial results from the Greene County Clerk's office show that 76 percent of citizens on Tuesday voted not to repeal the measure, meaning the tax will continue at its current rate for a period not to exceed five years, or until the pension plan is fully funded.  

eFactory
Scott Harvey / KSMU

This week, Springfield was named the 24th best city in the country to start a business by Wallet Hub, a small business and personal financing website. KSMU’s Julie Greene has more on what this ranking means for local entrepreneurs.

The Springfield-Branson National Airport is expanding its general aviation complex to make room for more private aircraft.  KSMU's Theresa Bettmann reports about why this could be a boost for the local economy.

Next month, the airport will begin to expand and change its general aviation complex. Kent Boyd is a spokesperson for the airport.

Beginning in 1976, the University of Missouri Extension has been recognizing a history in agriculture by honoring the state’s longtime family farms called Century Farms.  KSMU's Theresa Bettmann has more on the special designation.

Orcmid via Flickr

In the weeks since the kidnapping and murder of Hailey Owens, discussions on how to ensure the safety and security of neighborhoods have grown. KSMU's Theresa Bettmann has more on building stronger neighborhood communities.

How many people do you know in your neighborhood?  Some experts suggest that you should know at least 10 along your street.  But how many of us actually do? I, myself, confess to only knowing four, and wanted to learn the numbers of others.

The Springfield Chamber of Commerce and Ozarks Transportation Organization (OTO) are seeking public feedback on critical area transportation projects. The month-long initiative launched this week, as KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann reports.

The Transportation Input Initiative is designed to work in tandem with MoDOT at a local level.  The Springfield region extends to Ozark, Nixa, Republic and Willard.  Kelly Turner is chairman for the initiative.

The lengthy consideration over how to revise the City of Springfield’s non-discrimination law returns to the forefront when the bill again comes up for debate in the coming months. And there could be more push at the state level to prohibit discrimination based upon a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

KSMU Archives

In just over a decade, cell phone calls to 9-1-1 have nearly doubled in Greene County, rising from 40 percent to 77 percent.  That's above the national average.  While the volume of calls is increasing, state-wide funding for 9-1-1 is on the decline. Missouri is one of the only two states currently without wireless surcharge laws in place to fund the vital service. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.

Evangel University says it will lay off 12 staff members at the Springfield school, as part of 25 position reductions effective next year. KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports.

Evangel says budget reductions were required to address “operational deficiencies and some job redundancies,” noting the issues became evident upon consolidating with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Central Bible College.

Evangel Spokesman Paul Logsdon says that upon consolidation, all faculty were guaranteed positions through April 2014.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Upon finalizing the 2014 budget Friday, Greene County officials say they’ve managed to avoid cutting nearly 20 jobs that were originally on the chopping block. However, eight will be eliminated as part of $1.1 million in budget reductions.  KSMU’s Scott Harvey has more.

Greene County Commissioner Harold Bengsch says they were able to preserve some essential positions by moving them into other areas, including the recent law enforcement sales tax fund.

A boost more than four years ago to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, ran out Friday. What impact will it have on poor families in the Ozarks? KSMU’s Scott Harvey explains.

The increase to the program in 2009 came as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. But now that those additional funds have expired, the average family of three will have about $30 less to buy food each month, according to Center on Budget and Policy.

Local agencies are feeling the pinch after Congress failed to reach a midnight deadline for a stop-gap spending bill, preventing an estimated 800,000 federal employees from working. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann reports on who is and isn’t open for business.

Springfield City Utilities celebrated the opening of its new bus maintenance facility on Boonville and Locust Friday. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and has this report. 

Springfield-based Mother’s Brewing Company is now serving its beer in northwest Arkansas. As KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports, Monday’s announcement comes amid a series of events planned this week to help kick start the campaign.

The company believes they can sell between 3,000-5,000 barrels over the next few years in the region. That includes the cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista and Eureka Springs.

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