Lake Ozark Aldermen Tuesday night unanimously approved a 2013 operating budget that includes a 3 percent wage increase for staff.

Lake Ozark Aldermen Tuesday night unanimously approved a 2013 operating budget that includes a 3 percent wage increase for staff.

The budget also includes the addition of a new police officer starting in April along with two seasonal workers in the Public Works Department.

Equipment purchases in several departments also are planned.

The numbers reflect a projected budget surplus of $634,089.

City staff and the Budget Committee have been working for several weeks to develop a balanced budget and to continue to grow reserves in each of the funds.

Projected revenue is $8,716,553 with projected expenses of $8,082,464.

In a memo to staff, City Administrator Dave Van Dee acknowledged the hard work of the city staff and the board in helping achieve a positive year-end budget balance.

“If everyone hadn’t been committed to working together, the outcome could have been a negative one,” he said.

Audits and insurance

The board approved contracts with Graves and Associates for the city’s 2012 audit, and with Mike Keith Insurance for its liability insurance policy.

Lake Ozark received two bids for audit services ― one from Graves and Associates and the other from Evers and Co.

The city currently uses Graves and Associates.

Evers and Co. submitted the low bid of $8,750, with Graves and Associates $750 higher.

City staff is concerned that because Evers does not have the city’s database of information, the additional research on the part of city staff might amount to more than $750 in staff time.

As a result, aldermen decided to stay with Graves and Associates, which has done the audit for several years and is familiar with the city’s operation.

The liability insurance contract was awarded to Mike Keith Insurance through Missouri Public Entity Risk Management (MOPERM).

Mike Keith Insurance has offices in several central Missouri locations.

The premium increased $2,887 from this year to next, but city officials noted that the city received more than $4,000 in premium refunds because of few claims.

Part of the premium increase was because the city replaced some of its aging equipment with newer equipment.

Wehrenberg Theater

The developer for a new Wehrenberg Theater in Eagles’ Landing is expected to begin work on an eight-auditorium complex this month, weather permitting.

Charles Misenheimer, the city’s building official, said in a report to the board that a foundation permit has been requested.

Thomas Construction of Osage Beach will be the general contractor.

The proposal calls for a 23,258-square-foot building with eight auditoriums and 1,128 tiered stadium style seats.

The largest auditorium will have 282 seats.

Completion is expected by summer.

Other business

•The board accepted the final vote certification for the one-quarter percent increase in the city sales tax for funding capital improvements, operation and maintenance.

•The board waived the final meeting of December since it falls on Christmas Day.