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City Services To Be Bid: At the June 29 Board of Aldermen meeting, Lake Ozark’s elected officials authorized two bidding processes that will have a significant impact on local residents. The first of these opportunities discussed is related to improving city streets. In April, the Board of Aldermen hired Miller Companies to establish a list of road maintenance projects to be paid for utilizing the city’s ARPA funds, and the road improvements reserve fund.  Over thirty roads throughout the community have been identified for the micro-paving project, given their current condition.  Miller Companies representative Ethan Shackelford states, “This type of project is designed to maintain and sustain the life of roads that are not yet in need of significant repair.  For some higher traffic streets, this can expand the life of the street for two or three years, but lower traffic residential streets may not need to be addressed for another eight years.”  After receiving this project report, the Board unanimously voted to issue an RFP for the project.  Bidding will open on July 4 and close on July 27.  City staff will begin crack sealing streets soon to prepare for the project. The city’s current solid waste contract with GFL Environmental was originally set to expire in 2022, but the contractor and Board of Aldermen elected to extend the contract through March of 2023 in their December 2021 meeting.  The Board of Aldermen opted on Tuesday to issue an RFP for a new solid waste contract to begin at the termination of the existing contract.  Among other items, bidders will be expected to identify operational plans, an ability to perform consistent routes throughout Lake Ozark, and what annual rate increases will look like for consumers.  Mayor Newberry commended Derrick Standley, a local resident with expertise in solid waste management, for his work in helping city staff and the Board determine what the bidding process and documents should entail. As the bidding process for both of these items closes, the Board of Aldermen will be expected to make a decision on who to award each of these contracts to, based on qualifications, ability, and pricing. 

TEST TW WEATHER

TDD would help fund street improvements

Progress is slow sometimes, and the path to improve the city’s 90 miles of streets is moving forward.

That was the scenario presented to Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen during a recent workshop.

Lake Ozark voters approved two ballot issues in June 2020 that will help fund the street construction projects: 

One was a Use Tax on the purchase of items online. Previously, online sales tax collected from various vendors remained with the Department of Revenue. Now, those sales tax funds will be distributed to a special City of Lake Ozark Transportation Fund from which debt incurred will be paid.

The other issue was granting the city the authority – with board of aldermen approval – to borrow up to $6 million over the next several years to pay for the street improvement projects affecting the 90 miles of city streets. 

Now, the third phase of the transportation plan – formation of a Transportation Development District — is moving forward. The TDD would collect a small sales tax and would oversee improvements to Bagnell Dam Blvd.

The board of aldermen earlier this year endorsed formation of a TDD which would be an independent authority to collect up to ¾ of a cent additional sales tax from businesses within the TDD boundaries. Those funds, along with Use Tax funds and other possible sources, would help pay off construction debt on Bagnell Dam Blvd. improvements. 

Preliminary estimates are that as much as $275,000 could be collected annually, which would be earmarked for street improvements and maintenance. 

City Attorney Christopher Rohrer updated the board of aldermen on the TDD progress during the workshop.

He said the petition for TDD formation is now before the Circuit Court, which is part of the state-mandated process. The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission also must review and sign off on the petition. 

Rohrer said he hopes the TDD issue will be ready for vote by mail in August or September. Only registered voters within the TDD boundaries would be eligible to vote. 

While the TDD commission would be independent of the city of Lake Ozark, it would include a representative from the city of Lake Ozark. The commission would be subject to the state’s open records laws. 

City Administrator Dave Van Dee reminded the board that voters approved the Use Tax and authorized debt for the construction, but the city still has to find ways to pay for the debt. The Use Tax, which only recently went into effect, has generated about $18,000. If that trend continues, the Use Tax could generate between $130,000 and $150,000 a year – again, all earmarked for street improvements.

Van Dee reminded board members that there are four components to funding the estimated $6 million cost to fix the streets. Cost for upgrading Bagnell Dam Blvd. from Quality Inn to Bagnell Dam is estimated at $3 million alone.

•The Use Tax (approved by voters in June 2020).

•Debt Authorization (approved by voters in June 2020).

•Formation of the Transportation Development District (anticipated late summer, early fall).

•Possible slight increase in property tax that would help fund the remaining street projects.

“If you want the roads to be done, we can either do a halfway job or do it right,” Van Dee said. “If we’re going to do it right, it takes time and planning.”