Prewitt said RIS is asking for a full accounting of what the city has received from the state in sales tax from Eagles' Landing since 2011 and how those funds have been distributed.

The city of Lake Ozark takes exception to allegations made by owners of The Shoppes of Eagles' Landing that the city has misappropriated thousands of dollars in Tax Increment Funds.

Andy Prewitt of RIS, Inc., the developer of the the retail development that includes Kohl's and Menards, told the board of aldermen and staff Tuesday night that his company discovered "major discrepancies" in how the TIF and cooperation agreement revenues are being collected, distributed and accounted for by the city.

But in a statement issued early Wednesday afternoon by City Attorney Chris Rohrer, the city stands by its interpretation of the cooperative agreement that it is in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

"We believe the city is in compliance with the agreement and has captured and paid out all sums that are presently due under the TIF and cooperative agreement," Rohrer said. "It was recently brought to our attention that RIS, Inc., has a different interpretation of the documents. The city’s legal counsel and accountants are reviewing the city’s compliance with the TIF and cooperative agreement documents and working with RIS’s legal counsel to amicably reach a mutual understanding."

That isn't how Prewitt and RIS view the situation.

"In the last quarter alone, we believe the city shorted our lender more than $170,000," Prewitt said. "We have been trying to get a full accounting of these revenues since June and have received nothing of substance from the city."

Prewitt leveled his allegations during the Public Comment portion of the regular board meeting because he says he was denied placement on the regular agenda. His preference, he said, was to discuss the issues in closed session. The city of Lake Ozark Public Comment policy notes that the board does not take action on items not listed on the agenda and does not comment on issues.

Rohrer responded on behalf of the city and board:

"I think you're aware that our attorney in Kansas City as well as your counsel involved in the TIF matter have been communicating regarding this issue," he said. "We are certainly not ignoring your concerns and issues you've raised and we are working with outside legal counsel and our accounting staff within to address these issues for you."

Prewitt said RIS is asking for a full accounting of what the city has received from the state in sales tax from Eagles' Landing since 2011 and how those funds have been distributed.

"In June, we discovered massive discrepancies in city's accounting of the TIF and cooperation agreement revenues," Prewitt told the board. "The numbers don't add up and there has been a major lack of transparency and cooperation on the part of the city."

He said RIS' lender is "demanding answers."

RIS is asking for the city's "full attention" and to authorize a meeting between the city's attorneys and accountants and RIS officials to "get to the bottom of the issue."

"Based on the investment we have made of over $37 million and the economic activity that we have created at this development for the city, county, and state of Missouri, and given this project was a public-private partnership from the beginning, we look forward to working with you to get this problem resolved and all parties living up to the agreement that we signed six years ago," Prewitt said. 

According to Wednesday's statement, one challenge in the process -- of which RIS has been made aware -- is that the city is prohibited by Missouri State Statute from disclosing certain information regarding sales tax receipts.

"What Mr. Prewitt referred to as 'a lack of transparency' is, in actuality, the city's need to comply with state law," Rohrer said.

Prewitt asked to re-address the board at the end of the Public Comments and Attorney Rohrer's comments, but was told by Mayor Franzeskos that "we normally don't do this" as per the city's policy.

The Eagles' Landing project encompasses 245 acres on Highway 54 on the Lake Ozark side of the Osage River bridge.