A letter outlining the city's concerns with proposed cell tower legislation should be on the desk of Rep. Rocky Miller by now.
The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen last week gave its approval to the letter, which the city hopes will reiterate the its desire to regulate the placement of wireless towers within the city limits. Legislation initiated by Representative Miller during the last legislative session ended up with much different language than he anticipated, and city officials say the wording takes away their ability to regulate towers.
The Cole County District Court struck down the bill, saying the title was unconstitutional. An appeal of the court's ruling is expected, according to City Attorney Ed Rucker, although he does not expect a ruling before the legislative session begins next month. The legislation will probably be reintroduced in January.
The city took a pro-active approach to the bill's language, asking Representative Miller to visit with aldermen and city staff last month. As a result of the meeting, the city decided to draft a letter outlining its concerns and specific language that would benefit municipalities.
Alderman John Olivarri suggested the city's letter be sent to the Missouri Municipal League and the cities that initiated the lawsuit that resulted in the bill being struck down.
"We want to preserve the status quo to allow cities to regulate cell towers," City Attorney Rucker said last week.
He said it appears Representative Miller's bill was used as a vehicle for the special interests of wireless companies.
City officials in Laurie, Sunrise Beach and Camdenton are expected to discuss the issue as well, and the city of Lake Ozark recently approved a 60-day moratorium on cell tower applications.
There's a trend among Osage Beach bars and restaurants to curb smoking within their establishments, and the city wants to encourage that through its liquor license application process.
Alderman Fred Catcott, who reviews liquor license applications on behalf of the city, said many restaurants are creating outdoor smoking areas while banning smoking within their businesses. Liquor is being served in those designated areas, which is a potential violation of the liquor licenses which specify where liquor can be served. He wants restaurants and bars to have the ability to amend their liquor licenses ― at no charge ― to allow liquor consumption in the expanded smoking areas.
City Attorney Rucker said he would review the existing ordinance and bring something back for the board's consideration at the next meeting to make it easier for businesses to apply for liquor licenses.
Alderman Olivarri suggested the city remind establishments they have that option when license applications are made.
Page 2 of 2 - •The board unanimously approved second reading of an ordinance that authorizes a contract between the city and Central Bank Lake of the Ozarks for banking services since CBLO submitted the lowest and best proposal.
•The board approved a budget amendment that allocates funds for additional water hookup parts for two new developments ($7,461) and for parts for inventory and repair of the city's water system ($22,611).
•The board authorized a contract with the Missouri Veterans Commission to use space in the lower level of city hall at a cost of $3,026.85 for 320 square feet of space.
•The board approved the appointments of Jerry Fox and Jeff Bethurem to the Planning Commission, replacing Stephen Dow who resigned, and Michelle Myler who resigned to fill the unexpired term of Lois Farmer.
•The board rescheduled the January meetings to Jan. 9 and 23.