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P&Z gives thought to allowing food trucks: The door to allowing food trucks in the City of Lake Ozark was left open a crack by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission during its regular monthly meeting April 7. After a brief discussion, the P&Z requested more information before making a recommendation to the board of aldermen. The issue was brought before the group after city officials received several requests in the last few weeks from vendors wanting to take advantage of the throngs of potential customers during special events and weekends in the city. Currently, food trucks are not allowed without the approval of the board of aldermen, the event applicant and the property owner where the truck would be located. “These transactions cannot occur on public-controlled spaces such as sidewalks, streets and rights of way without having a special use permit from the board of aldermen,” Assistant City Administrator and Community Development Director Harrison Fry explained. “They currently are not allowed in the city based on current city code.” While food trucks would be a new type of business to the community and offer variety, Fry noted, they also would, in effect, compete with existing businesses potentially at a lower level of investment. Mayor Gerry Murawski focused on the potential conflict with businesses, especially those on The Strip. “I’ve been asked this for five years now and my opinion has been rock solid. I believe businesses invest a lot of money through their lease or purchase and to have food trucks at least on The Strip is counterproductive,” the mayor offered. “If we did something below the dam for special events, for instance, we might want to be able to do that but that’s about the only option. We have such a small town and all the food truck people that I’ve talked to always want to set up on The Strip at an event and I think that would be absolutely counterproductive to our businesses and their investment.” P&Z Chairman Margaret Davis pointed out that food trucks in The Strip area would also take away valuable parking spaces that are at a premium. In answer to a question by P&Z member Mike Otten regarding food trucks on private property, Fry reiterated that permission would be required from the property owner, the event applicant and the board of aldermen. Committee members wondered if food trucks could potentially be permitted away from The Strip such as in Eagle’s Landing.  “I do think there are times and places that might be appropriate for them, but putting them down on The Strip is not appropriate,” committee member Ethan Schackelford said. “I do think we should look at the situation and options and see if there might be a time and place to locate them.The complexities of collecting sales tax from venders who might operate in several communities also was raised as a possible challenge. The board is expected to revisit the issue at its next regular meeting May 5. In the meantime, city staff will be researching best practices on the issue from other communities.  


Alan Sullivan to lead St. Patrick’s Parade

By Loretta Srch

BDSA Contributing Writer

It is a year to celebrate. Bagnell Dam was built 90 years ago. Missouri will mark 200 years of statehood. The Best Dam Birthday Bash, a year-long celebration for the Lake region, is underway with special events planned. People are excited.

The St. Patrick’s Parade on the Bagnell Dam Strip was last year’s first Bagnell Dam Strip Association’s event axed by COVID. Everything in place, the parade was cancelled with little advance notice.

This hugely popular parade is picking up where it left off in 2020, building momentum with 150 vehicles, floats and other entries registered. High expectations anticipate an above average turnout this year.

At the head of the parade will be Grand Marshal Alan Sullivan, patiently awaiting the honor bestowed upon him last year. There are few who are more fitting for the role of leading this celebratory year’s first parade than Alan. On the surface you may recognize a bit o’ the Irish in his name. But don’t stop there. Alan spent his college years in Rolla where St. Pat’s Day is a traditionally honored holiday. Unlike other university campuses, St. Pat’s is revered at UM –Rolla for more than a reason to party. St. Patrick is the patron saint of engineering.

When Alan left Rolla, he headed back to his hometown of Tuscumbia with his degree. In engineering. That’s a nice tie-in for the St. Pat’s Parade. But wait … there’s more.

That degree in engineering might take some away to larger cities, but Alan had family ties to the Bagnell Dam, a structure his grandfather and uncle helped build. There, he put his engineering degree to work able to remain close to home and the place he loved. His mother had grown up in Tuscumbia, his father in Kansas City and the family was drawn back to the area when Alan was young. Like his mother, Alan was educated in the Tuscumbia public school system within walking distance of their home and the central hub of the small town that is the Miller County seat. Alan’s world was well defined within a quarter mile circle during his youth.

His hometown is still Tuscumbia where he raised his family and retired after a 41-year career at Ameren’s Bagnell Dam. Reflecting on that career, Alan remarked that it was a blessing beyond his comprehension. There was not one day in those decades he did not look forward to a new day of work, challenging as they may be. He well remembers his first tour of the dam, given in 1977 by Tennyson (T.A.) Degraffenreid, an informed supervisor who earned Alan’s respect through his work and knowledge of the Lake and the power plant, and stories told. Tennyson celebrated his 100thbirthday in February. When they were colleagues, T.A. shared stories of the past including the historic ride of Tennyson’s aunts, Oma and Noma, driving the first car across Bagnell Dam when it opened in May of 1931. T.A. was then but a boy of 10. So close has Alan been to the history of Bagnell Dam. What a connection this Grand Marshal has to its past. To its present. To its future.

While Alan was not able to serve his Grand Marshal role last year, he was able to offer assistance with the disaster relief arm of Samaritan’s Purse, a group that helps in Jesus’ name and has taken Alan last year to Nashville for tornado relief, before that Jefferson City’s relief effort, and to Lake Charles, La., three times in 2020 for elbow-grease relief from hurricanes, pitching in to help rebuild communities starting with foundational structures of homes and buildings.

The vernacular of God’s blessings is at the core of Alan’s approach to life, guiding him towards his next calling. Since retirement, he has turned more attention, and especially in 2020, to helping others.

“God called in the last few years for people in need,” he explains about answering to volunteer opportunities to help those in need. “As blessed as we all are, not everybody’s so fortunate. It’s just a call that God has placed on my heart.”

Alan has answered that call not only through working with Samaritan’s Purse for more than two years, but also locally through food banks and food pantries such as the Church at Osage Hills.

Alan sees a divide in our culture and looks to his involvement with the “Crossover Music Festival” whose purpose is defined as “building community with music and hope” to help bridge that divide.

With his many involvements Alan is the right man for our time to lead the 2021 St. Pat’s Parade into this year of memorable events. The right man to remember why we are here and how community can come together and cross divides. A man with the Irish roots of a patron saint looking over his profession, and with generational ties to the land and the Bagnell Dam, Alan cares to build community. As Grand Marshal he will lead the parade with hope into the future.

Loretta Srch, aka Mz Loretta, is a storyteller and artist-in-residence for the Bagnell Dam Strip Association. Her stories are told through writing, with Tarot cards and by hand in a portfolio of mixed media pieces.

Alan Sullivan is pictured with one of his children, Tiphni Brown. He also has a son, Tim Sullivan.