The trustworthy calendar swept us past the apocalyptic Dec. 21 and now we find ourselves baby steps into 2013. We should give pause to the good and the bad of 2012, but not labor so long that we’re unable to move on.
There is chatter around the Osage Beach office of making resolutions, most of which revolve around losing weight. While I stop short of making resolutions that I won’t keep, I do agree I should switch from eating scrumptious, greasy, salty potato ships to cold and unstimulating vegetables.
Time will tell.
The media — including Lake Media — trots out its “Best of” or “Top 10” lists this time of year, and those are good reflections of what happened in the previous 12 months. It’s rather subjective, of course, for us to tell you what we think are the best stories of the past year. But, hey, somebody has to do it?
It’s a collective effort by several of us from Amy Wilson with the WestSide Star in Laurie, to the Lake Sun crew in Camdenton to me with The Focus. We toss our favorites into the hat, and the final 10 are gleaned from there.
It’s tough to funnel all of the lake’s big events into a manageable list, especially when there is a plethora of stuff going on out there. To wit, here are my own observations on a couple of significant trends that have made the news:
•Lake Ozark. At long last, the once-beleaguered community is now a viable and compatible player in the lake’s economic and social landscape. It’s not your grandmother’s squabbling little berg any more. There was a time residents were actually embarrassed to say they were from Lake Ozark because of the infighting among city officials, because of the shenanigans along the Strip, the Good Old Boy mentality and, well, just because. Today, board members actually gets along not only among themselves, but also with city staff. There is stability in city government. The board and administration have made good hiring decisions, and that reflects on the quality of service provided to residents. There have been bumps in the road for the board, and a time or two when actual controversy reared its ugly head this past year. But, thankfully, the city muddled through it. Unity can be a wonderfully progressive asset.
Eagle’s Landing is the most significant economic success within the city limits. The city already is realizing tax revenue from the complex, and that will only get better as the shopping center adds businesses — including Wehrenberg Theater next summer.
Rt. 242 opens hundreds of acres to commercial and residential development between Bagnell Bam Blvd. and the Expressway. Granted, the shortcut isn’t the easiest road to traverse because of its many curves. But the potential benefits far outweigh the Tour de Le Mans-type roads.
Page 2 of 2 - My admonition to the board? Never forget you represent the health and well-being of the community, not the special interests who sometimes squawk the loudest.
•The expressway. It truly is a marvelous addition to the highways and byways. I’ve lived here now almost 12 years and well remember the horrific traffic flow issues of pre-expressway times. We were choking on our own success. I will agree that the configuration of Osage Beach Parkway between Walmart and Highway 42 is, well, a nightmare. I literally fight the stop lights, the changing of lanes, the jockeying of position to make the correct turn. Getting to Prewitt’s Point to show for whatever it is I need that day is a breeze; getting home through the maze is quite unpleasant.
I have total empathy for the West Enders. They were sold a bill of goods, to steal a phrase, at a time when the local and national economies were in recession. That being said, the segment of Osage Beach Parkway west of Rt. KK wasn’t very healthy before MoDOT closed the Parkway to through traffic.
It has been a combination of unfortunate factors that have virtually killed west of Rt. KK. The city and MoDOT have tossed around some ideas, but nothing has come to fruition as yet.
It’s all about marketing. It’s all about giving people a reason to stop at your store. It’s called destination shopping.
I think the area west of Rt. KK should create an image for itself, much like a shopping mall or shopping district. Look at it this way: if the assessed values continue to decline, some savvy developer with deep pockets will swoop in there, have the property declared as blighted, get a TIF from the city of Osage Beach and we’ll have ourselves a West End Plaza!