The Branson Board of Aldermen passed the first reading to form the Tri-Lakes Biosolids Joint Municipal Utility Commission.

The Tri-Lakes Regional Biosolids Coalition is currently made up of the cities of Branson, Hollister, Forsyth, Reeds Spring, Kimberling City, Rockaway Beach, Galena and Sparta.

This coalition has been working with legal counsel to finalize the terms of an agreement to form the Tri-Lakes Biosolids Joint Municipal Utility Commission (JMUC).

According to a staff report provided by the city of Branson, the purpose of this agreement is for the listed cities to assume ownership as a commission (group) and continue the operations and maintenance of the existing biosolids drying facilities.

The biosolids drying facilities that are used to meet the biosolids processing needs of the listed cities, are located at the Branson Cooper Creek wastewater treatment plant and have additional equipment at the Branson Compton Drive treatment plant. There is another facility at the city of Hollister wastewater treatment plant.

According to the report, the existing drying facility construction was completed in 2015 and has been owned by Taney County to meet guidelines set out by a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) grant.

Although the county owns the facilities, they have no operational responsibilities, including the cost of operations.

Under the guidelines of the MDNR grant, the county has agreed and desires to transfer ownership responsibilities to the listed cities, which requires the formation of the Tri-Lakes Joint Municipal Utility Commission.

According to the report, member cities will continue to pay a unit price for each ton of material they have processed at the facility. The operational costs will not be impacted with the ownership change.

The cities of Branson and Hollister are currently paid through the Coalition for the cost of labor and materials used to operate the facility. Once formed, this duty will fall upon the biosolids Commission.

The final passage of this item will allow the listed cities to become co-owners through the development of the Commission and will allow the biosolids drying program to continue.

Visit bransonmo.gov for the complete agenda item.

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