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Boren Appointed Police Chief: In a special meeting held yesterday, the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen formally appointed James Boren to serve as the City's next Police Chief.   James began his employment with the City of Lake Ozark 19 years ago as a dispatcher, and was sponsored by the City to attend the Police Academy. 17 years ago, he began his career as a police officer in Lake Ozark, climbing through the ranks of Corporal, Detective, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant, and most recently as Interim Police Chief.   Regarding his new role, Chief Boren stated, "My goal for this department is to lead it with integrity and best serve the needs of our unique community. We will continue to strive for perfection, knowing it takes work from all of us, but I'm honored and thrilled to be able to lead this department in that direction."

City moves to restrict pedestrian vehicles

The City of Lake Ozark has taken yet another step to help ensure the safety of visitors and residents along Bagnell Dam Blvd.

The board of aldermen approved first reading of an amended ordinance that prohibits the use of any motorized or non-motorized pedestrian vehicles in a commercially zoned district including, but not limited to, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, Segways and hoverboards. Second reading is expected at the next regular board meeting April 13.

The city installed hand sanitizing stations in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared as another safety measure for residents and visitors.

The primary focus of the ordinance is The Strip, which has seen an increase in the use of the small, motorized pedestrian vehicles as the area becomes more and more popular. Residential streets are not included in the new restrictions.

“The Strip is a very busy place and we don’t allow skateboards currently,” City Administrator Dave Van Dee explained. “We were recently asked about hoverboards and we thought for safety reasons we needed to address the trend and expand our ordinance and include the other types of motorized vehicles.”

Police Chief Gary Launderville said he found that several cities have similar ordinances in place to help protect the safety of not only pedestrians but also riders. He noted that there have been incidences where one or more individuals have been seen riding hoverboards after dark, which poses additional safety issues. 

Van Dee said signs will be erected to inform the public once the ordinance is approved next month. Signs are currently in place prohibiting skateboards. 

The ordinance excludes medically prescribed motorized pedestrian devices.  needed for a person to navigate the streets.