The city of Osage Beach and State Rep. Rocky Miller appear to have cleared the air regarding the city's concern that a bill supported by Miller limits the city's ability to manage cellular towers.

The city of Osage Beach and State Rep. Rocky Miller appear to have cleared the air regarding the city's concern that a bill supported by Miller limits the city's ability to manage cellular towers.

Representative Miller was invited to attend the regular Oct. 7 meeting to explain his role in how House Bill 345 made its way through the legislature. The bill was eventually signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, but the Missouri Supreme Court declared the bill unconstitutional because of how the bill was titled.

Miller stressed that, in his opinion, the bill does not restrict the city's ability to manage the location of cellular towers. He said the bill was structured so that a city's planning and zoning regulations would take precedence.

But City Attorney Ed Rucker said he and other attorneys aren't convinced. The bill is not sufficient to allow municipalities to determine cell tower placement.

"The city needs the ability to protect the location and management of towers," he told Miller.

Miller admitted he failed to keep the city informed of changes to the original bill that he authored. While Miller said he was pleased with the content of the bill in its final form, he apologized for not updating city officials.

Aldermen noted the city has not had problems with cell phone companies in the past, and they want to make sure any future legislation doesn't open to door to random placement.

Mayor Penny Lyons said unrestricted placement of towers could have a negative aesthetic impact on the city.

Miller said he wants to do everything he can to support the expansion of broadband and Internet service into all areas of the state, but he understands the city's concerns.

He believes, however, the bill exempts cities such as Osage Beach that have strong, functional planning and zoning regulations.

Miller said he willing to "hear and learn" about the city's concerns. "Talk to me," he said. "I'm going to listen. I dropped the ball and I apologize."

City Attorney Rucker said he and City Planner Cary Patterson will develop language which they feel will adequately protect not only Osage Beach but also other municipalities in Missouri.

"Going forward, we need your help," he said of Miller. "We need language that protects us."

Miller agreed.

"We need to make sure you have sufficient protection, but I'm going to continue to do what I can to get the Internet and broadband to everyone," he said.

Now a resident of Osage Beach, Miller said the city is now the largest in his district, District 124. He said he has his business within the city and cares about what happens to the city.

Since the bill was struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court, it will be back for consideration when the legislature convenes in January. That will give Miller and other legislators a chance to revisit the language.

Other business

•The board approved first reading of a banking services contract with Central Bank Lake of the Ozarks. The city's current contract expires Dec. 31, so the city developed bid specifications so any bank within the city limits could bid. CBLO and U.S. Bank responded, and after careful review of the services offered by each, City Administrator Nancy Viselli recommended a contract with CBLO. The second reading will be held at the Nov. 21 meeting.

•The board authorized the installation of a streetlight on Cove Road near Gerken Lane.

•The board approved a budget amendment by allocating $21,555 to airport capital for completion of a pavement marking project.

•The board ratified the city's mission statement showing that Michelle Myler is a new alderman, replacing Lois Farmer who resigned earlier this fall.

•The board authorized the purchase of a 2013 John Deer Gator 4X4 for $8,250 from Donald Farm & Home in Lebanon as a replacement to equipment lost at the city park due to August flooding. Insurance proceeds will be used to cover the cost.