Osage Beach Aldermen discuss need for sidewalks serving School of the Osage

Dan Field
Osage Beach City Hall.

A last-minute decision by the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen to seek federal funds for sidewalk extension led to a discussion about the need for sidewalks along Highway 42 serving School of the Osage.

City Administrator Jeana Woods said the deadline is near (Jan. 29) to apply for MoDOT’s Rural Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to connect existing sidewalks on Osage Beach Parkway in front of Dierbergs Market. The gap is about three-tenths of a mile between Lakeview Point Drive and the east entrance to Osage Beach Outlets.

The estimated cost is $305,153 with the city’s share about $116,932, or 20 percent. Woods said grants will be awarded in late March, and the city’s application has a decent chance of being accepted since interest in TAP funds is less than usual. Grants are awarded once a year.

Parkway sidewalks have been a priority for the board, Woods noted, and the city has taken advantage of funding in the past.

“I did not want to pass up the opportunity to apply,” she said. “This doesn’t commit the city to the project, but I’d hate to decline it if we received it.”

While the board unanimously agreed to seek the TAP funds, the discussion shifted to the need for a Sidewalk Master Plan.

Alderman Richard Ross said he had spoken with Cochran Engineering and learned that sidewalk projects involving schools are often favored. He thought of the need for sidewalks that would connect the School of the Osage‘s Highway 42 campuses to Osage Beach Parkway. The Upper Elementary, Middle School and High Schools would be served.

“We’re too far away from the planning standpoint to include that now, but that project might have fit better than Dierbergs,” he said. “I’d like to understand what the next steps are. We could have potentially applied for more than one project and could have gotten more to cover the school cost. I think we need a Sidewalk Master Plan so we’re ready and loaded for the next round of funding.”

Mayor John Olivarri added that “if we had a master plan could more easily identify projects.” He asked Alderman Ross to bring the idea to the board at a future meeting.

There was additional discussion about possible financial help from the Osage Beach Special Road District, which apparently has indicated an interest in helping.

Other business

•Approved an ordinance authorizing the city administrator to execute a Cost Share Agreement with the Missouri Highway Commission for extension of Osage Beach Parkway from Lazy Days Road to Executive Drive at a cost of $398,790 with the city’s share at $199,395.

•Approved first reading of a rezoning request for Precision Paint Worx, LLC, which asked for a change from C-1 (General Commercial) with a Planned Unit Development (PUD) overlay to C-1 (General Commercial). Applicants Precision Paint Worx have an option on 5.6 acres of vacant property on Ozark Care Drive off of Osage Beach Parkway.

•Approved the purchase by the Osage Beach Police Department for two 2021 Ford Police AWD utility vehicles for $73,514.