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Notice Regarding Recent Resignations: At the end of an executive session held at the October 25, 2022 City of Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen meeting, it was announced that letters of resignation had been accepted from both Municipal Judge Richelle Christensen and City Administrator David Mitchem.   Christensen’s resignation, effective December 31, was given in anticipation of her uncontested election to serve as the Camden County Prosecutor.  The letter was given in advance of this date so that a suitable replacement as municipal judge could be nominated and have ample time to prepare for the job.  It is anticipated that a nominee will be provided at the November 8 Board of Aldermen meeting, with work to begin for the new judge on January 1, 2023.   Administrator Mitchem had presented the Board of Aldermen with his letter of resignation, effective November 14, on October 12, with the Board formalizing the action at this meeting.  His notice references several successful projects from his year in the office, including identification of new revenue streams for the city, making amendments to building height restrictions to allow for development at an increased scale, and performing an assessment of employee recruitment and retention strategies.  He also cited his appreciation for the Board’s commitment to making the city more attractive for outside investment, while praising the professional staff’s skills and desire to be good public servants.  A successor to the position is expected to be named prior to Mitchem’s final day.   Of both Christensen and Mitchem’s announcements, Mayor Dennis Newberry stated “their time with the city, while different in length and workload, have transformed the way we deliver justice and do our key functions as a government.  Our board has appreciated working with both of them, and wishes them both the best in their next chapters while we welcome new team members to those roles.”


City working on plan to fix trash issues on The Strip

A long-standing trash issue on The Strip in Lake Ozark could have a solution in the works.

City officials are working with Lake of the Ozarks Solid Waste Management District T officials to figure out a way to get trash receptacles out of public view, and to get overflowing trash off The Strip. The number of trash dumpsters is inadequate to handle the volume of trash created by businesses as The Strip has welcomed near-record numbers of visitors, and the topography of the narrow Strip most often prohibits trash dumpsters from being placed behind businesses.

Paramount to moving forward with any plan is extending the current contract with Green For Life Environmental, Inc. (GFL), which expires February 2022. GFL recently bought out WCA, the city’s long-time refuse company. The city administrator or his designee has been authorized by the board of aldermen to negotiate a new contract.

This isn’t the first time trash and sanitation concerns have been on the table for the board of aldermen.

Board minutes from June and August 2008 show that aldermen discussed trash left on public property as a violation of the city’s nuisance ordinance. A committee was formed by then-mayor Johnnie Franzeskos to consider solutions to removing trash containers from the city’s right of way and out of the public’s view. 

At the Oct. 13, 2020, board meeting then-mayor Gerry Murawski noted he was in talks with the District T staff to develop a glass recycling program for restaurants on The Strip. He was voted out of office six months later before he was able to move forward with a plan.


Proposed plan

Any overall sanitation plan would have to be approved by the board of aldermen.

A committee has been formed to review the existing sanitation system which is managed by GFL. The focus of the committee is to make recommendations for improvements such as aesthetics, recycling where practical, cost savings opportunities and available grants to offset improvement costs.

Estimated setup cost could be as much as $67,250, with the city’s investment estimated at $49,000. Under the proposal, the city would begin billing for commercial accounts. Currently, the city only bills for residential accounts and commercial businesses work directly with GFL/WCA.

When the current contract expires in 2022, city officials anticipate a significant increase in trash pickup costs from the sanitation company due to increased steel and fuel costs.

According to the sanitation plan, developed by Derrick Standley, regional director of the Lake of the Ozarks Solid Waste Management District T, extending the current contract for another year gives the city time to develop the proposed plan.

He said the city’s sanitation plan was developed to handle about five million visitors each year, and that has grown to more than 10 million by some estimates. 


Highlights include

•City to take control of billing for commercial customers. 

This action could result in consolidation of trash containers; increase appearance; combined with recycling will lower the cost of enclosures and concrete pads; generate revenue that could pay for the cost of enclosures and concreter pads.

•Construct concrete pads and enclosures for trash receptacles. 

Pads and enclosures would allow for greater aesthetics as well as creation of several additional parking spaces in key tourist areas. The cost of adding these in three key areas on Bagnell Dam Blvd. is about $50,000. That cost would be absorbed by revenue generated because of the city taking over billing services and the overall reduced cost of basic services.

•Implement expanded commercial recycling.

Create a voluntary expanded recycling program for local businesses. About 85 percent of the weight of all trash material generated is considered recoverable (recyclable). By separating the collection of recyclables from the existing waste contract with the city, the Solid Waste Management Region will be able to set up recycling within each business on a voluntary basis. Each participating business would be provided containers for glass, corrugated cardboard, and aluminum recycling.

The recyclable material would be taken to the Laclede Industries Recycling Center where they would be processed and transported for recycling. This service will reduce the amount of waste produced and ultimately control sanitation costs on a long-term basis, according to the plan.