*Editor’s Note: This opinion is in response to a Lake View by jim Schneider titled “Mo. Highway Commission needs to fix road mistakes” published in the Wednes, July 24 Lake Sun.
For the last four or five years, the city of Osage Beach has been working daily with MoDOT on the building of the $150 million expressway. Over the last year when people began bypassing safe access to the expressway and began stacking at Key Largo, the city had dozens of public and in-house meetings with MoDOT.
When the businesses wanted Bus. 54 designations on the Parkway signs, the board met several times with MoDOT and the signs have been retrofitted throughout the city. The board continues to work with MoDOT to make changes to the existing Key Largo. And we are working with MoDOT to extend the Parkway to the Y Road interchange. We do not need to march on the Highway Commission; MoDOT has been a permanent fixture in Osage Beach over the last five years.
As for funding, the board and staff wanted to look at all the options available. One was using a state program, which was set up to help municipalities. Osage beach can fund this project through in-kind right of way donations and funds from economic development and projects that will not be done because ROW is not available. In fact, we can provide almost one-half of our share in 2013 and the balance in 2014 without deterring any transportation projects. Our share is one-third of the project.
The state will build the outer road with right of way and turn it over to the city for annexation. The numerous property owners are not required to annex into the city. They would pay out-of-city utility rates unless they annexed into the city.
Nowhere in this letter is it mentioned that the city will get a $3.5 million asset for $1.16 million. Nowhere is it mentioned that most cities use outer roads to provide safe ingress/egress to businesses adjacent to 65-mile-per-hour traffic. Nowhere does this letter mention that the outer road removes a dead end on the main road in Osage Beach. Nowhere does it mention that the city has been providing new sidewalk areas almost every year. Nowhere does it mention that Osage Beach has a continuous maintenance program to overlay and slurry seal city streets.
Nowhere in this letter is there any mention of future growth and expansion for Osage Beach to grow. Nowhere in this letter is there any appreciation for the time the board of aldermen has spent in numerous meetings to consider the concerns of the businesses and residents. Nowhere have I seen the author of the letter to the editor in attendance at any of these meetings.