JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – MML is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 MML Innovation Awards! These awards honor outstanding projects happening in communities across Missouri that enhance the quality of life for Missouri cities. Awards are based on city population size, with the exception of a Members’ Choice award, where MML members vote for their favorite project regardless of city size.
This year’s winners are:
City of O’Fallon (Extra Large City, with population more than 30,000)
O’Day Park is the culmination of concepts that stand alone as innovative, but together offer a multi-faceted strategy to be in concert with today’s environmental concerns. In 2001, the city of O’Fallon was gifted 54 acres of land off Highway DD, one-mile south of Interstate 64, to build and develop a natural park that would provide green space and nature-based amenities on the south end of town. This project would satisfy a desire for such space within the community and expand the footprint of O’Fallon’s park system. Funding for the project was approved by voters in 2016 through Proposition PARKS. The O’Day Park project team, consisting of the Mayor, City Council, Parks and Recreation Department, Engineering Department, SWT Design, and Navigate Building Solutions, set out to maintain the natural character of the land, protect the habitats and ecosystems native to the area, conserve and reuse water for irrigation in the rest of the park, create an adventure playground and provide indoor and outdoor event space. This unique park opened to the public on April 27, 2019, and has been well received by visitors.
City of Nixa (Large City, with population 15,000 -30,000)
#9pmRoutine: Crime Prevention Through Social Media
The Nixa Police Department wanted to reduce theft of valuables from unlocked cars parked in driveways or unclosed garages. After learning of the idea from Pasco County, Florida, Nixa Police Lieutenant Jeremy Whitehill began using Facebook to create awareness of the importance of removing valuables from your car every night, locking your doors, closing your garage door, and leaving lights on outside your home. They call it the #9pmRoutine. In 2019, the Department posted 134 times about the #9pmRoutine using creativity, humor, and internet memes to help it stick in the memory of city residents. The posts reached more than a quarter million people and were seen a total of 330,000 times, garnering engagement from more than 18,800 individuals. Members of the Nixa community thanked the department for reminding them of easy ways to prevent themselves from becoming property crime victims. The police department became known in the area for this effort and earned positive media coverage for it. The best part is the campaign worked, contributing to a 41% reduction in thefts from motor vehicles year over year, and a 60% reduction in monetary losses by citizens to such thefts.
City of Cameron (Medium, with population 5,000 – 15,000 and also Members’ Choice)
Dilapidated to New
Dilapidated properties can cause many issues for a community, such as increased crime, a risk to health and welfare, and municipal costs for the community. The city of Cameron, Missouri, offers the opportunity to remove dilapidated structures that are of an imminent danger to the community through a demolition program. In many cases, property owners either inherit property, abandon, or neglect issues that have plagued communities for years. This program allows the City to encourage property owners to remove certain structures that are substandard, hazardous, and dangerous through several options. Each year the city of Cameron appropriates funds to partner with residential property owners to remove these structures. Dangerous structures are defined as properties that are hazardous and dangerous to the public health and welfare and are beyond repair.
The City offers two programs for demolition of these properties. Property owners can elect to participate in the 50/50 or 100% demolition program. The 50/50 demolition program is designed to allow property owners the opportunity to share the cost of removing dilapidated structures. The average cost per structure is $7,000 per single family home. The 100% program allows property owners with limited funding to sign over the property entirely and allow the City to remove the structure. The City covers the total cost of the demolition process. Once the structure is removed, the property is placed for sale. As part of the demolition agreement, the buyer will be responsible for constructing a single-family home within two years.