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Food trucks coming to Lake Ozark: Food trucks will now be allowed to operate within the City of Lake Ozark. The board of aldermen approved an ordinance at its regular meeting July 27 setting in place the rules by which food vehicles and food vendors can operate. The major consideration is that food trucks cannot operate within the city’s only C-1 District, which encompasses only The Strip from near Christ the King Lutheran Church to the end of the city limits near Bagnell Dam. Vendors would not be allowed on public property, e.g., sidewalks, easements, rights of way, but only on private property. The path to final approval has included considerable discussion by the Planning and Zoning Commission, and by the board of aldermen at regular board meetings and a special workshop. The focus by the board and staff has been protecting existing brick and mortar food businesses on The Strip while encouraging new business within the city.  The only significant change from the original ordinance first considered in May involves food trucks/vendors participating during a special event. Those types of vendors can operate at city-authorized special events if the mobile unit is located totally within the property owned, occupied, or leased by the operators of the special event. It would be the responsibility of the official event organizer to recruit, monitor and control vendors present within its event space. Two individuals representing two Lake Ozark businesses spoke in favor of food trucks as they intend to allow those types of food services on their property. The board did vote to amend the proposed ordinance to reduce one distance regulation for food trucks from 500 feet to 300 feet of any licensed special event without the consent of the holder of the special event permit City Attorney Chris Rohrer said he learned at a recent Missouri Municipal League conference that there have been a number of court cases dealing with the validity of food truck ordinances especially in regard to distances. He said he wanted to make the board aware that 300 feet might be more palatable to the court if there is ever any litigation regarding the ordinance. In addition, a mobile food vendor cannot operate within 150 feet of the main entrance to any licensed business that sells food and/or beverages to the public.  Other Ordinance Highlights •Food trucks/vendors would be allowed in R-3 Multi-Family Dwelling District; C-2 General Commercial District; LMU-1 Lakefront Mixed Use District; M-1 Light Industrial District – but not the C-1 District (The Strip). •A mobile food vehicle is a licensed, motorized vehicle (aka food truck) that includes a self-contained or attached trailer kitchen in which food is prepared, processed, or stored and the vehicle is used to sell and dispense food to the public. •Mobile food vending activity and the locations are to be temporary and cannot be at any one location for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period unless it as part of a special event.  •A mobile food vendor must have a current copy of its sales tax certificate, property use consent letter, the name of the vendor and length of the permit. •A food vendor must provide health department compliance and inspection reports, vehicle registration, a copy of the require city, county and state business licenses, and insurance and a food liability policy with $1 million limits. •A food vendor must provide a sanitation plan approved by the city’s public works director; must provide trash and recycling containers and keep the area within 25 feet of their food vending equipment cleared of trash. •A food vendor cannot have more than one 24x36 inch sign that is not physically attached to the food vending equipment.         


Court order ends sewer spill saga

It’s been a long, sometimes challenging road to recovery, but the City of Lake Ozark has been released from a consent judgment resulting from a significant sewage spill more than a dozen years ago.

City officials were notified June 24 that a Satisfaction of Judgment had been filed with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announcing that DNR would be closing its enforcement case. 

“The past 13 years have required a lot of difficult work on the part of our staff, citizens and board of aldermen,” City Administrator Dave Van Dee said. “This resolution finally puts to bed the dark cloud that was hanging over Lake Ozark for so long, and we can now begin looking to the future.”

It all started in early September 2007 when the DNR was alerted by an individual that raw sewage was flowing into the lake. The DNR discovered that a lift station on Horseshoe Bend Parkway had failed and was allowing between 10,000 and 15,000 gallons of raw sewage to flow into the lake. 

The DNR notified the city of the bypass and the city responded and stopped the flow but failed to conduct no clean up and provided no written notification of the bypass. 


Finishes touches

The city has between 300 and 400 grinder pumps and lift stations that serve the community. All of those had to be upgraded or replaced to meet a subsequent court order. 

Then-Mayor Johnny Franzeskos and the board of aldermen took immediate action to mitigate the situation. McClure Engineering was hired to design and upgrade the system at a cost of about $3 million. Of that total, the city only borrowed $200,000 which was paid in full and ultimately impacted the city’s sewer budget.

“It was an awesome and sometimes arduous task,” Van Dee said. “The DNR and McClure Engineering worked together to guide us through the process. Two mayors, multiple aldermen and our staff were involved over the years and their quick action on various ordinances and work orders helped expedite the projects.”

Over the following decade, the city worked to make the mandated improvements, doing some of the work internally. Improvements include:

•Rehabilitation of nine lift stations

•Replaced hundreds of grinder pumps and control panels

•Cleaned and CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) inspected the gravity flow sewer system

•Re-lined and sealed several lift station wet wells and manholes

•Installed remote monitors which alert Public Works staff via text message of any failure within the system


Final piece

The final piece of the puzzle was the upgrade of Twin Oaks Lift Station on Twin Oak Drive, which was completed to the satisfaction of city officials and the DNR only recently. Its completion was delayed for about two years because the city could not obtain the needed easements from lift station neighbors. Eventually, the DNR, McClure Engineering and the public works staff designed an alternate way to access the lift station.

“It’s taken quite a while, but now we have a wastewater system in place that has the capacity to handle our anticipated growth,” Van Dee noted.



A year after the spill was reported, the public works director – who had been fired as a direct result of the mishap – pled guilty to failing to report the discharge of pollutants into the lake and was sentenced in U.S. District Court to three years of probation. The court also ordered the fired employee to pay a $5,000 fine.

In a separate but related case, the City of Lake Ozark plead guilty to repeatedly discharging raw, untreated sewage from several sewage collection stations directly into the Lake of the Ozarks. The discharges were from sewage overflows resulting from faulty equipment. The city was fined $50,000 by the DNR and $30,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As part of the judgment, the city agreed to upgrade and maintain its wastewater treatment system and to report any and all bypasses from its treatment system and lift stations as required by the state.