Community Info

Living Here

No matter what you’re looking for – big city conveniences, entertainment and amenities or the appeal of small town values and charms – an A-Plus education for your children or a place to build your business and watch it grow – you’ll find it here, in West Plains.

Entrepreneurs with big ideas will appreciate being at the center of economic growth and activity for the entire region. Retirees with simpler goals have chosen to spend the best years of their lives here. Newcomers enjoy a thriving job market, affordable housing and a decent, safe place to raise their children. And, vacationers seduced by the abundance of outdoor activities return year after year to immerse themselves in the soul-soothing beauty of the Ozarks.

 Everyone is welcome here. The people of West Plains are warm, the economy is hot, the climate forgiving and the landscape is nothing short of spectacular. Whether you’ve come for business or pleasure, putting down roots or just passing through, you’ll find what you’re looking for, right here…in West Plains.

Climate

In West Plains the climate is characterized by an abundance of sunshine, low wind velocity and mild temperatures. You will experience spring temperatures that range from 50-70 degrees, summers in the 70’s-90’s, fall temperatures that match the spring, and mild winters that usually don’t dip below 20.

Quality of Life

West Plains neighborhoods are safe and secure. A well-trained police and fire department, County Sheriff department, and Missouri State Highway Patrol all watch over West Plains. Crime rates are among the lowest in the country. Medical facilities are modern and efficient with ground and air ambulance services. The health care community is comprised of more than 70 physicians, four chiropractors, 10 dentists and orthodontists. West Plains is also home to three of the finest, most caring nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the county.

There’s another factor that sets West Plains apart from the rest of the country. The people who live and work here are what make this community such a special place. They’re honest, open, and dependable and take pride in a job well done. West Plains is united in its efforts to bring prosperity to its residents and the business community. Old-fashioned values like integrity, hard work and neighborliness are not forgotten. They’re the norm, not the exception to the rule. So, if you’re searching for a place to call home, a place to do business or the perfect vacation spot, you don’t have to look any farther than West Plains. It’s all right here!

Education

Students of all ages and walks of life will find a wide variety of educational opportunities to choose from on campuses scattered across the city. One of the building blocks that is essential to community development is a quality educational system. West Plains has forged a strong commitment to learning. Nearly 3,000 students attend public school. However, the district boasts an enviable 16.5 student-to-teacher ratio. That’s just one of the reasons why the schools consistently achieve Triple A ratings. Approximately 50 percent of all teachers have their master degrees. Every student has access to current technology with roughly 700 computers in the classrooms. The teachers are dedicated, the dropout rate is low and the completion rate is high. The goal of West Plains High School, a certified A+ school, is to provide a comprehensive program for college-bound students and technical preparations for furthering their education.

A valuable partner with the business community, the South Central Career Center offers a full slate of work-related courses. The cooperation between industry and the school helps maintain the well-educated workforce of the future. Complementing this effort is the Missouri Customized Training Program. MCTP recruits, tests and trains employees to meet the ever-changing needs of business. The custom designed courses are free of charge and MCTP will even pay half the employee’s wages in many circumstances.

An impressive selection of college courses and degrees are offered on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus. The college also provides a variety of continuing education courses and select occupational programs. The enhanced Technology Center offers degree programs in cutting-edge technology. The MSU- West Plains Grizzly women’s volleyball and men’s basketball athletic programs are thriving. Both sports are affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association at the Division One level.

The Chamber’s close partnerships with all educational institutions lead to a seamless connection with business people. Enhancement of programs at all educational levels is a top Chamber priority.

Medical Care

The West Plains medical community consists of more than 100 physicians, 10 dentists and an orthodontist. In addition to general and family practitioners, there are specialists in anesthesiology, cardiology, emergency medicine, gastroenterology, general surgery, gerontology, hematology, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, medical oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, pathology, pediatrics, podiatry, psychiatry, pulmonology and radiology.

Ambulance Services

South Howell County Ambulance Service provides Advance Life Suppose Service requirements while Air Evac EMS, Inc. provides helicopter ambulance service. The central dispatching system for South Howell County Ambulance is provided by a county-wide enhanced 9-1-1 emergency dispatch system which provides the quickest access to emergency services. For more information contact South Howell County Ambulance Service at (417) 256-2490, or Air Evac EMS, Inc. at (800) 247-3822 or (417) 256-0010. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

Home Health Services and Nursing Home Care

West Plains has many options for home health services. The specialties range from skilled and psychiatric nursing, to social work and therapy services, to spiritual and emotional support. These providers offer compassionate, professional nursing care and services that enable people to continue living independently in their own homes.

Missouri Home Care offers homemaker/personal care, companion/respite, private duty nursing and advanced personal care.

Ozark Independent Living provides services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities, to achieve their maximum independence.

Hospice Compassus focuses on comfort care and improving the quality of life for terminally ill patients and their families.

Riverways Home Care, Hospice and Support Services provide a wide range of quality home care programs such as nursing, physical, occupational, and speech/language therapy, home health aid, companion, homemaker/chore and a comprehensive hospice program. Specialty programs include post-natal check-ups and multidisciplinary rehabilitation team care.

Independent In-Home Services is an agency dedicated in furthering the cause of living independently within your community. Quality services which are provided include personal care, household chores, and nursing services, along with respite services.

Should the need arise for nursing home care; West Plains is home to several facilities that will meet the needs of long-term care individuals. West View Nursing Center, NHC Health Care, Brooke Haven Healthcare, Lamplight Village and Pleasant Valley Manor are all located in West Plains and provide skilled, quality care.

Hospital

Ozarks Medical Center is a 114-bed, not-for-profit health care system employing approximately 1,100 people and serving an 11-county area. The medical staff consists of more than 100 active and associate members with specialties in anesthesiology, cardiology, cancer treatment, child psychiatry, emergency medicine, family practice, general practice, general surgery, geriatrics, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, oncologic surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pathology, pediatrics, podiatry, pulmonology, psychiatry, radiology and urology.

The OMC emergency department: provides 24-hourservice, seven days a week. OMC manages several ambulance services in Missouri. Air Evac Lifeteam, a local helicopter ambulance service, is based at the medical center.

The Urgent Care Clinic: Open evenings and weekends for patients needing primary care services after physicians’ offices are closed.

OMC Surgical Services: a 20,000 square-foot facility that houses six spacious suites for both inpatient and outpatient surgery.

The OMC Cancer Treatment Center: State-of-the-art facility providing radiation treatment, chemotherapy and hematology services.

OMC Rehabilitation Services: Features physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology services. Other rehabilitation services include sports medicine, industrial work conditioning and ergonomic, massage therapy, lymphedema therapy and the hand clinic.

OMC Outpatient Imaging Services: Features MRI/MRA, CT/CTA, Computed Radiography and Fluoroscopy, ultrasound, digital mammography and stereotactic mammography for outpatient breast biopsies. Other services are X-ray, fluoroscopic nuclear medicine, CAT Scan and PET/CT Scan. Imaging Services includes West Plains Imaging Services of Ozarks Medical Center, a full-service outpatient imaging center.

Cardiac Diagnostic Services: Includes a cardiac catheterization lab, a cardiac diagnostic lab and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. In January 2005, OMC’s interventional and open-heart surgery program became operational.

OMC Behavioral Healthcare: A network of mental health services providing outpatient counseling, community support, medication services, psychological testing, children and youth services, day treatment and home-based care.

Founded in 1978 by Family Practice Physician Marvin Fowler, Burton Creek Medical Complex is a state-of-the-heart full service medical facility in West Plains. Burton Creek Medical Complex offers a variety of services, including but not limited to: Family Practice, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Bone Densitometry, and Nerve Conduction Study, Dermatology, Laboratory and Pathology, Mental Health, Occupational Medicine and Workman’s Compensation, Open Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Pharmacy, Radiology, and more. Voted the 2006 Best Places to Work in -417 Land by 417 Magazine, Burton Creek continues to grow to serve your needs.

The West Plains Surgery Center is a unique and beautiful facility that plays hose to a broad range of innovative procedures. Because the center specializes in outpatient surgery, patients enjoy many advantages including personalized service, excellent medical care and an alternative to traditional hospital based surgical procedures. WPSC is a physician owned outpatient surgery center that stands as the centerpiece of the newly developing Howell Valley Medical Park The current realm of surgeries and procedures offered are within the scope of Ophthalmology, Orthopedic, Gynecology, Ear, Nose and Throat, Pain Management, GI and General Surgery.

For an entire list of Chamber member medical, chiropractic and dental clinic as well as a list of Chamber physicians who provide numerous specialty medical services, call the Chamber office at 417-256-4433 or view the medical directory.

Housing

West Plains offers ample choices in housing. Regardless of your budget and square footage needs, there is something here for everyone. Our neighborhoods provide a safe, clean place to raise a family.

The average cost of a new home ranges between $69,000-$150,000 for three bedrooms, two baths, and a two-car garage.

For renters, there is a vast selection of housing to choose from with rates starting at $250 a month. Rents on most new units fall into the $350-$450 range. During the past five years new construction inside the city limits has averaged 20 million dollars annually.

Economy

Business people with vision come to West Plains seeking the remarkable opportunities for expansion, diversification and progress. In other words, they come here to see their dreams fulfilled.

Community Profile

The economic health of West Plains is as solid as the Ozark Mountains themselves. Banks and other financial institutions are safe and strong with assets in excess of 400 million dollars. Dedicated to growth and prosperity in the business community, those assets continue to increase. South Central Missouri is the largest enterprise zone in the state. That’s good news for new and expanding businesses. They’re on the receiving end of investment credits, employee credits and income tax credits. Real estate tax abatements are available and the state also offers grants, loans and bonds.

Broad ranges of industrial spaces are ready for occupancy or construction. These sites feature paved and lighted streets, utilities, and easy access to highways, railroad sidings and the airport.

Successful businesses from nearly every field call West Plains home. From food processing to engine rebuilding woodworking to laser steel cutting, the wide range of industries protects the local economy if any one of them experience a slowdown. Some of the largest employers include Armstrong–Bruce Hardwood floors, Systems and Electronics Inc. (SEI), Invensys Controls, Caterpillar, Royal Oak Enterprises, Arlee Home Fashions, Motor Technologies Group, Gardner Shoe Company and Amyx Industries.

The largest city within a 100-mile radius, West Plains is the trade center for south-central Missouri. More than 125,00 people shop in the area and retail sales have averaged an 8 percent growth rate annually, pumping 225 million dollars into the local economy.

The major arteries of the city are home to a wide variety of food markets, specialty stores and retail shops. Downtown businesses are expanding and thriving.

Taxes

Residential property is assessed at 19% of true market value. Personal property is assessed at 33.33% of true market value.

Transportation

With one of the most efficient highway systems in the country, commercial trucking keeps products moving all year round. U.S. Highways 60, 63, and 160 crisscross our area as do State Highways 14, 17 and 19. Moving people and goods by air is just as easy from the West Plains Municipal Airport. The Burlington-Northern Railroad provides service for rail freight.

Utilities

Utilities and Co-ops work together to provide ample electricity at exceptionally affordable prices. The area depends on clean-burning, inexpensive natural gas. Known as the land of the big springs, deep wells provide some of the freshest water you’ll ever taste. The city has recently installed an 11 million dollar generating plant to keep up with business and residential growth.

Further Points of Interest

A popular local saying has it that the third time you visit the Ozarks, you bring your furniture. West Plains, nestled in the “Heart of the Ozarks”, is where you’ll find breathtaking scenery to soothe your spirit and plenty of warm, gracious people who make it difficult for you to leave. When it comes to the best the Ozarks has to offer, West Plains has it all…and we’d like to share it with you. But be careful…we do become habit-forming.

The Mark Twain National Forest, named for Missouri’s favorite son, provides much of the scenic beauty in the Ozarks Heritage Region. But it’s not just another pretty place. You’ll discover a wealth of outdoor recreational activities within its borders. With more than 40 campgrounds and picnic sites, 350 miles of floatable streams, 63,000 wilderness acres, and 125 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, you’ll be hard-pressed to decide what you want to explore first. Whether you hunt, trout fish, raft, kayak, explore springs, or tour the many gristmills; you’re only a stone’s through away from a relaxing West Plains hotel or eatery.

Pick up the pace at one of the finest dirt track facilities in the nation. The West Plains Motor Speedway’s premier event is the “Show Me 100”, where late model drivers from across the country compete to start the Memorial Day weekend race. The season begins mid-March and runs through August with events for crowds as large as 17,000.

Country western stars Porter Wagoner and Jan Howard both called West Plains home, as did baseball greats Bill Virdon and Tedd Gullic. Preacher Roe, legendary left-handed pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, still makes his home in West Plains. The Harlin Museum has the honor of preserving the accomplishments of these hometown heroes, along with displaying the work of emerging Ozarks artists.

People come from miles away to attend concerts and family activities at the West Plains Civic Center. With 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, 7,400 square feet of meeting rooms, a 2,900-seat arena and a 450-seat theater, there’s certainly room for everybody. The center boasts a collegiate-sized swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and a professionally designed fitness room. The state-of-the art Civic Center hosts expos and conventions, athletic events, stage shows and performing arts theatre. The Civic Center has developed a solid reputation for staging quality family entertainment and cultural events.

Other recreational opportunities in West Plains include a new Aquatic Park with a collegiate-sized swimming pool, leisure pool, sunbathing area and pavilion. City parks provide areas for picnics, play and exercise as well as tennis courts and batting cages. There’s even a Winter Sports Complex. From golf courses and basketball courts to art exhibits and roller-skating, we truly have the finest recreational facilities for outdoor activities.

Watch Us Grow

Business people with vision come to West Plains seeking the remarkable opportunities for expansion, diversification and progress. In other words, they come here to see their dreams fulfilled.

The economic health of West Plains is as solid as the Ozark Mountains themselves. Banks and other financial institutions are safe and strong with deposits in excess of 600 million dollars. Dedicated to growth and prosperity in the business community, those assets continue to increase. South Central Missouri has enhanced enterprise zones. That’s good news for new and expanding businesses. They’re on the receiving end of investment credits, employee credits and income tax credits. Real estate tax abatements are available and the state also offers grants, loans and bonds.

Broad ranges of industrial spaces are ready for occupancy or construction. These sites feature paved and lighted streets, utilities, and easy access to highways, railroad sidings and the airport.

Successful businesses from nearly every field call West Plains home. From gas control valves, to wood flooring and laser cut steel, the wide range of industries protects the local economy if any one of them experience a slowdown. Some of the largest employers include Armstrong – Bruce Hardwood floors, DRS –SSI, Inc., Invensys Controls, Caterpillar, Arlee Home Fashions, Regal-Beloit, and Air Evac Lifeteam.

The largest city in Missouri within a 100-mile radius, West Plains is the trade center for south-central region of the state. More than 150,000 people shop in the area. Retail sales have averaged a 6 percent growth rate annually, pumping 225 million dollars into local economy.

The major arteries of the city are home to a wide variety of food markets, specialty store and retail shops. Downtown businesses are expanding and thriving.