Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee says the municipality is moving forward with an appraisal of property where officials would like to build a service road to a lakeside sanitary sewer lift station in Twin Oaks Subdivision.

Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee says the municipality is moving forward with an appraisal of property where officials would like to build a service road to a lakeside sanitary sewer lift station in Twin Oaks Subdivision. 

The appraisal should be completed within the next week, according to Van Dee. This appraisal will make it possible for the city to submit an outright purchase or easement to Twin Oaks Subdivision for the site to start work on the new service road. If the eventual purchase proposal is denied, the city will look to move forward with use of eminent domain. 

Van Dee says the city found it necessary to push a solid deadline on this project in order to get things moving. Being the last lift station in the immediate area, he says it has become a priority for measures of safety. The city hopes to complete this process through outright purchase or an easement, as Van Dee says use of eminent domain is their “last resort.” 

According to Van Dee, city officials see the ease of access to this lift station not only as a necessity, but as a need to the public as well. 

In previous board meetings, Van Dee has explained that the city does not want to be delayed in responding to any issues with the lift station, and does not want to be responsible for contaminating the lake which would limit the residents’ use until the spill adequately dissipated. Once their appraisal of the site is complete, he says Twin Oaks Subdivision could possibly conduct an appraisal of their own in order to conduct business with an evaluated price in mind on both ends. 

“The Twin Oaks Lift Station is only a few feet from the lake,” Van Dee said. “If the lift station malfunctions, we potentially have an environmental emergency.”

Previous local concerns with the project included worries that the city had not fully researched total possibilities to complete the service road by other methods. Jim Putnam, an attorney representing some of the neighbors, told the board of aldermen that many of the neighbors are opposed to a permanent paved road across their property. He says there are concerns that the project may not be the most cost efficient or environmentally friendly method possible for the city to attempt.

Van Dee has previously commented, saying city officials are determined to work with members of the subdivision to ease concerns. If the regular purchase fails, a condemnation commission would likely be formed to hear and then present the case to move forward through eminent domain, a forced purchase method for the community. Property owners could appeal a condemnation commission decision to district court.