The city of Lake Ozark took a small step toward construction of a utility road to the Twin Oaks Lift Station despite opposition from at least one neighbor.

The board of aldermen last week approved first reading of an ordinance authorizing a contract with McClure Engineering for design services for the access road from the end of Red Oak Road. Second reading is expected at the next regular meeting Feb. 26.

Cost of design services is estimated at $12,250. 

The access road has been a bone of contention between the city and at least three neighbors who believe there are "reasonable alternatives" to the city's plan to build a road along the bottom of a gully to the lift station. The city's current access is down more than 100 steps and equipment has to be carried in by hand. The alternative access would allow access along the bottom of the ravine.

City Administrator Dave Van Dee noted for the record that a letter had been received from a trio of property owners in the vicinity of the project.

"She raises several issues we've already addressed, and we will be preparing a response to again," Van Dee said. "There are no concerns here that we can't address. Some of the comments are totally irrelevant to this project. We did the project the way we were supposed to and have all the permits we're required to and so did the private developer. Some of the issues she raises are not part of our part of the project. They are part of the senior house project (Fish Haven), but that developer has graciously provided us with information that will be used to respond."

The city currently has an easement for the stairs and walkway, and a five-foot-wide easement down the draw for the sanitary sewer served by the Twin Oaks Lift Station.

The city has offered to buy an additional 20 feet of easement from one or more of the concerned neighbors adjacent to the sewer line from a cul de sac at the end of Red Oak Drive to build a gated access road to the lift station, and has been open to a reasonable solution, according to City Administrator Dave Van Dee. The road would allow city workers easier and quicker access to the lift station in case of an emergency, city officials say.

But property owners see it differently.

"Since viable alternatives exist that comply with clean water laws, private property impacts should be nearly eliminated," the letter to the board said. "These alternatives address convenience for the city staff and minimize impacts to the private property.

"We remind the aldermen that the property owner has always been willing over the past several years to offer access near the pump station for the city to repair the station should additional space be needed," the letter said.

City clerk

After meeting in closed session, the board voted unanimously in open session to offer interim City Clerk Kathy Vance the full-time position pending a background check.

She fills the position vacated when Kim Baker retired at the end of January. 

Vance has been started with the city on July 1, 2009, as Administrative Assistant/Deputy Court Clerk/Planning & Zoning Clerk. She was named interim city clerk April - July 2015 due to the retirement of Rachel Kelley, and then became full time Court Administrator August 2015 due to the retirement of Judy Noser.  

Other business

•The board approved a liquor license and Sunday sales permit for 2nd Story, LLC, at 1104 Bagnell Dam Blvd.

•The board approved a liquor license and Sunday sales for Marty Byrde's, 1286 Bagnell Dam Blvd. 

•The board approved a caterer's liquor license for Tuckers Shuckers, 1339/1359 Bagnell Dam Blvd., for March 17.

•The board approved a special event application on behalf of the Bagnell Dam Strip Association for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade March 17.

•The board approved first reading of an ordinance accepting the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission to accept a special use permit for New Cingular Wireless to build a 180-foot monopole cell tower at 100 Oakwood Lane. There were no public objections at the P&Z meeting.