Lake Ozark officials appreciate resident votes to improve roads

Lake Sun Leader

City of Lake Ozark officials breathed a sigh of relief after both street improvement ballot issues were approved by Lake Ozark voters Tuesday by overwhelming margins.

Question No. 1, which asked voters to authorize the city to incur debt to fix streets, was approved 153-56. Miller County carried the vote with 146 “yes” votes compared to 52 “no” votes. Camden County voters cast 7 “yes” votes and 4 “no” votes.

Question No. 2, which asked for approval of a Use Tax on out-of-state online purchases, was approved 129 to 90. Miller County carried the vote with 123 “yes” votes compared to 85 “no” votes. Camden County had 6 “yes” votes to 5 “no” votes.

“We certainly appreciate voters’ vision and support,” City Administrator Dave Van Dee said. “We’ll begin the process of working on packages for financing the projects and for developing an ongoing maintenance program.”

Voters authorized the city to incur up to $6 million in debt over the next several years to finance the various street improvement projects. The Use Tax revenue will be one source of funding to pay for bonds sold to pay for the street work.

Van Dee said he doesn’t anticipate income from the Use Tax until the first quarter of 2021.

First projects on the docket, as identified in a 2018-19 Cochran Engineering transportation study, are Lighthouse Road and Bagnell Dam Blvd. Bagnell Dam Blvd. alone could cost $2.9 million. It’s estimated that the cost to upgrade all 90 miles of city streets is between $6 and $7 million.

Van Dee said micro-sealing of roads within Osage National Resort and Beacon Point are also high on the priority list.

What’s next?

Creating other funding sources for repaying the construction bonds is paramount to successfully completing the multitude of street projects. 

Among the major sources is creating a Transportation Development District, or TDD. A TDD can assess a sales tax of up to 1 percent on businesses within the TDD. A committee would establish the boundaries of a TDD, which could include businesses along Bagnell Dam Blvd. 

Another source of income could be property tax. 

Those options and others will be explored by city officials over the next few months. 

Election Results

In addition to the two ballot issues, Lake Ozark voters had a board of aldermen elections to consider.

In Ward 1, Patricia (Pat) Thompson was unopposed and received 66 votes

In Ward 2, incumbent Dennis Klautzer received 56 votes to 25 for challenger Timothy Conner.

In Ward 3, former chief of police Mark Maples defeated incumbent Joe Barfield 29-24. Camden County carried Maples to the win where he had 8 votes to 2 for Barfield. Barfield had 22 votes in Miller County and Maples received 21 votes. Maples is also a member of the Lake Ozark Planning and Zoning Commission and served briefly on the board of aldermen.