There could be some changes coming in the way parades in Lake Ozark are organized.
The board of aldermen Tuesday night didn’t make a decision, but had extensive discussion on what the parade routes should be and what types of entries should be allowed. The board has pushed for having all parades start on Rt. 242 and finish at the bottom of The Strip rather than stretch along Bagnell Dam Blvd. and cross at the Rt. 242/Horseshoe Bend Parkway intersection.
Police Chief Mark Maples said the issue is having enough manpower to monitor traffic and the public for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the biggest of the parades in Lake Ozark. He said to have adequate police coverage, his preference is to start on Rt. 242 and have parade entries line up down the highway.
He said Bagnell Dam Blvd. was closed for about 2½ hours for the parade in March. It’s difficult to staff the parade route when it starts near the former location of Denny’s, he said.
“There are a lot of things to look at to tighten it (the parade) up,” Maples said.
Concerns have been raised about children being run over while gathering candy. He said he’s also aware that some parade entrants pass out alcohol-laden Jell-O shots and drink along the route.
Jeff Carroll with the Bagnell Dam Strip Association, the sponsor of the parade, said there were 150 entries this year. He said he would ban whoever was passing out Jell-O shots. Aldermen did agree that the party atmosphere of the parade needs to change, especially since many of the entries involve children.
There was discussion of limiting the number of entries in the parade, and possibly having a theme to better regulate the quality of the parade.
Alderman Betsey Browning said setting up the parade on Rt. 242 might not accommodate the size of the parade and the number of people who view the parade, estimated at between 5,000 and 7,000.
“How can you fit all of those people on The Strip?” she asked.
Alderman Jeff Van Donsel argued that the parade can be regulated through the permitting process rather than by establishing a new ordinance.
There also has been a concern expressed to some aldermen and city officials that businesses along Bagnell Dam Blvd. benefit when the parade is set up along the length of the street rather than Rt. 242. Van Donsel said the supporters of the parade are the businesses that would be negatively impacted if the parade route is changed.
After several minutes of discussion, Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos said, “if nobody wants to make a motion, then we’re through.”
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•The board approved a caterer’s permit for Jak’s, Inc., aka Gentleman’s Quarters, for the large parking lot at the bottom of the Strip during the Lake Race 2013 June 7-9.
•The board approved second and final reading or an ordinance that establishes a new chapter in the Municipal Code allowing the formation of collective bargaining units.
•Approved the purchase of a new color copier at a cost of $6,952. The new copier will allow city officials to send full-color documents to prospective developers. The old machine will be networked for the Lake Ozark Police Department.
•Approved the hiring of Kristen Mathesis as a full-time dispatcher for the LOPD to fill the position vacated last month.
•The board learned that the new storm sirens will be tested at 10 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month.