The city of Osage Beach jumped into the annual budget process for 2014 by holding the first of at least three workshops Monday night.
The board of aldermen met informally in the lower level conference room at the city hall to discuss the water, sewer, transportation and park budgets for next year.
City Administrator Nancy Viselli reports that there are no major water projects budgeted for 2014 except for a few upgrades to the public works department building, equipment and system.
Transportation has the most going on next year with rebuilding Key Largo and Nichols Road, and with the Osage Beach Parkway extension. Viselli said aldermen tentatively approved budgeting for a new dump truck, slurry seal coating of roads and pavement striping.
The city is partnering with MoDOT to make improvements to the Key Largo intersection, which has been the source of fatal accidents, complaints and confusion for more than a year. Nichols Road from Highway 54 expressway to near Casey's will be rebuilt including a new entrance to Lake Regional Health Systems to accommodate an increase in traffic since the expressway opened.
The west end of Osage Beach Parkway will be reopened and extended to the Route Y interchange via an outer road that will run parallel to the eastbound lanes of the expressway. That mutual agreement with MoDOT came after an outcry from business and property owners, developers, tourists and the general public that the decision to dead-end the parkway virtually closed off a mile-long section of the old Highway 54.
Also in transportation, money is budgeted for sidewalks, though that will be reimbursed with grant money. Several Special Road District projects are also planned.
In sewer, the board is budgeting to extend the sanitary sewer along the Osage Beach Parkway outer road to accommodate any future development east of the parkway. Also planned is the purchase of a new truck, a smaller pump truck and some lift stations.
After seeing their million-dollar city park be washed away by flash flooding in August, aldermen want to restore the area to its original condition and correct a problem with the pond above the park to avoid future problems. The board has discussed installing an emergency spillway that leads to a natural creek along the side of the park.
The replacement of lost or damaged equipment and items is also in the budget. State and federal emergency management agencies and the city's insurance carrier are expected to pay for up to 80 percent of the damage.