The city of Osage Beach has decided to delay a decision on extending its lease of electronic signs at each end of the Grand Glaize Bridge.
The board of aldermen considered extending the lease through the end of the year so the city's fall and winter activities can be promoted, along with businesses through the holiday season. The current agreement expires Oct. 6. Lamar Advertising Company would honor the original cost of $1,500 per month per board, which is discounted from the full rate of $2,500 per month.
The agenda item prompted discussion among board members as to the return on investment for the city and businesses along Osage Beach Parkway. The city decided several months ago to use the billboards as a way to promote Osage Beach businesses which purportedly have suffered economically since the expressway opened and the Parkway was closed at the west end.
Alderman John Olivarri said he is willing to consider extending the lease, but wondered if there is a way to evaluate the effectiveness of the signs.
Alderman Fred Catcott said he felt the billboards are a positive investment for the city and are worth the money.
But Olivarri said he isn't sure the signs are worth the $36,000 annual cost.
Alderman Ron Schmitt said he doesn't often see the Osage Beach messages, which rotate with those of other businesses and organizations. "I'm not sure they're worth it," he said.
Alderman Steve Kahrs wondered if the staff could find out from businesses along the Parkway if the billboards have directly impacted them.
Mayor Penny Lyons said staff would have a questionnaire at its Fall Festival booth last Saturday. In addition, Lake Media was asked to solicit feedback on the impact of the billboards for the city.
Ward II Alderman Lois Farmer announced in a letter to the city that she is resigning from the board effectively immediately so she and her husband, Les, can relocate closer to family members in Illinois.
Mayor Penny Lyons read a Resolution of Appreciation, thanking Farmer for her service, her public record and her influence on the city of Osage Beach. The resolution read in part:
"During her period of service, she made numerous valuable contributions in all areas of Osage Beach government such as serving on the Joint Sewer Board, the Community Law Enforcement Partnership Advisory Committee, the Leisure Services Advisory Committee, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission the Chautauqua Committee, the Fall Festival Committee and was instrumental in promoting public relations with military bases with the Patriotic March by members of the military from City Hall to Bagnell Dam."
Farmer received accolades from her fellow board members and staff later in the meeting.
Page 2 of 2 - "I'm the lucky one," Farmer responded. "And I'm going miss you all."
Even before she was elected to office, Farmer was instrumental in getting a traffic light installed at Nichols Road and Osage Beach Parkway (before it was the Parkway). The walking trail along Dude Ranch Road from Nichols Road is also one of her successes.
Mayor Lyons is expected to recommend someone to fill Farmer's unexpired term.