Osage Beach Mayor Penny Lyons certainly was prophetic several weeks ago when she said the board of aldermen faced a difficult decision regarding construction of an outer road that will open up Osage Beach Parkway.
The board split 3-3 last week on a motion to move forward with construction and right of way acquisition. It was the mayor herself who cast the deciding vote.
The vote came after about an hour of discussion among board members.
Board members were civil, the dialogue was constructive and each board member was strong in his or her conviction.
There were valid arguments on each side of the decision.
In the end, the mayor took the position that building the road will be an investment for the city, it will open an area for possible commercial and/or retail development, it will improve safety in the area and state funding won't be available after this year.
Sewer (and possible water) will be extended to the undeveloped area.
The logistics of moving forward with the project will be challenging, but not daunting.
There is right of way to secure from some holdout property owners, there are issues with the terrain (welcome to the Lake of the Ozarks) and the city will have to sharpen its pencil to balance the outer road project with other projects already on the drawing board.
There were a couple dozen people on hand for the meeting, including a handful of us media types.
A couple of weeks ago, the city put out a plea recently for input from the public on the outer road project.
Only a couple of people addressed the board, but their comments were succinct and forward thinking.
So now, with the outer road likelihood within the next couple of years, the onus is on the remaining business and property owners west of the Grand Glaize Bridge to seize the moment. There has been much tub thumping by the westenders for more than a year that help was needed from the city and MoDOT to re-open Osage Beach Parkway to two-way, east-west flow of traffic.
Each business, each property owner, each developer has an opportunity to develop new business plans.
Included should be detailed marketing plans to spread the word that they are, in fact, open for business.
The city, the board of aldermen and MoDOT truly have worked hard to solve the traffic, safety and economic problems associated with the Parkway, Key Largo and the expressway at the west end of the city. Not everyone will agree with the decision, but it's easy to be judgmental.
Everyone agreesthat a full-blown interchange is the ideal solution.
Page 2 of 2 - But that would be $7 million with the city's share probably $3.5 million, far more than the one-third cost of $1.16 million.
There is a silver lining here, folks.