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Special aldermen meetings to spur economic growth in Branson

 Branson City Hall
City of Branson
Branson City Hall

The city is looking ahead and working with the public to set its economic development agenda.

Monday and Tuesday night the City of Branson held two of three in a series of special Branson Board of Aldermen meetings. The board intends for the meetings to steer policy and spur economic development.

Branson Mayor Larry Milton opened Monday’s meeting. He emphasized the competition the vacation destination faces from a $2 billion theme park project in nearby Vinita, Oklahoma and a $350 million amusement park near Lake of the Ozarks.

Milton charted a path for these meetings and economic development in Branson to be community forward and proactive.

Milton said the Board wants to “put a plan in place that is fair, a level playing field and provides the same economic incentives to the businesses that are already here as those from outside of the area receive.”

Joe Lauber, part of the legal firm that serves as Branson’s city attorney, presented on the economic development tools Missouri gives cities.

The Branson Board of Aldermen then heard from the public Monday who spoke on a variety of topics.

One item came up multiple times. Mayor Milton reemphasized it before closing: the need for affordable workforce housing. Milton described the real impact the lack of affordable housing has had on Branson’s service-heavy economy.

"For the last several years, and it seems to be getting worse," he said, "our visitors are becoming more disappointed with customer service.” He explained, “it's not the individual server, it's the supply and demand.”

Tuesday, the Branson Board of Aldermen shared in-depth training related to Missouri’s economic development incentives. Monday and Tuesday’s meetings are both available on the City’s YouTube channel.

A final special session will be held February 29. The Board will consider an updated economic development policy then.

The public is encouraged to contact the aldermen or the city with comments. Submit comments online at bransonmo.gov.

Copyright 2024 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Chris Drew