Lake Ozark won't have a telecommunications consultant to guide it through the maze of wireless issues any time soon after a vote to use The Center for Municipal Solutions fell one vote short at Tuesday night's board of aldermen meeting.
Lake Ozark won't have a telecommunications consultant to guide it through the maze of wireless issues any time soon after a vote to use The Center for Municipal Solutions fell one vote short at Tuesday night's board of aldermen meeting. Lake Ozark, like most other communities around the lake, has taken a stand against allowing new applications for cell tower construction until proposed telecommunications legislation in the Missouri legislature is resolved. The 11-page bill is complex, and beyond the expertise of Lake Ozark staff. The consulting firm currently provides telecommunications expertise to Camden County and the cities of Osage Beach and Camdenton. For Lake Ozark, the services would be paid by the permit applicant with no cost to the city. “We feel this service would be beneficial to our community and it would provide for consistency as it relates to the general area,” City Administrator Dave Van Dee explained in his memo to the board. “It's protection for our city,” he told the board Tuesday night. Alderman Jeff Van Donsel questioned the need to employ a company based in New York, instead hoping the city could find a consultant from the area. He also quipped that if the city of Osage Beach suddenly went away, Lake Ozark wouldn't know what to do. “It's my understanding that we can't pass those costs along to the applicant,” Van Donsel said. Van Dee explained that the consultant actually comes out of Omaha, Neb., and that the bill currently under consideration in the legislature would prevent fees from being passed on. There is no such regulation in place now. “If we don't have this in our code now, we can't change anything later,” he explained. Despite a 3-2 favorable vote, the ordinance was not approved since a two-thirds majority is required. Voting for the ordinance were Aldermen Don Langley, Tony Otto and Judy Neels. Voting against were Van Donsel and Betsey Browning. Alderman Larry Buschjost was absent. Moratorium After some parliamentary maneuvering, the board approved extension of an existing 90-day moratorium on cell tower applications by 45 days. Aldermen initially approved a 30-day extension, but City Attorney Roger Gibbons did his math and discovered that the existing moratorium would expire soon, leaving the door open for telecommunications companies to file cell tower construction permits unregulated. Other business •The board approved two ordinances authorizing RIS, Inc., developer of The Shoppes at Eagles' Landing, to refinance its debt from Menards, Inc., and Mission Bank to Union Bank and Trust Company. •The board authorized a contract with Graves and Associates, CPA, for audit services for the 2013. •The board approved a budget amendment to fix an issue with problems involving the city's software coding system that allowed some funds to be omitted from the budget. •Tabled discussion on developing more parking spots on The Strip, and tabled action on accepting a new street light into the city's inventory until city staff can review the request.