Mon. May 29th, 2023
Bagnell Dam Boulevard in Lake Ozark is one step closer to improvements as the city moves ahead with the formation of a Transportation Development District.
Mayor Gerry Murawski says a circuit judge will now review a petition and registered voters will decide on the formation of the TDD in April if it’s on the ballot.
Murawski says the TDD will have the authority to increase sales tax in the district up to three-quarters of a cent for every dollar spent.
The city expects the improvements for Bagnell Dam Boulevard should cost around 3-million dollars.
The improvements will be made from the Quality Inn to the dam.
For Immediate Release
The next step in improving streets in the City of Lake Ozark is in place.
The board of aldermen has endorsed the formation of a Transportation Development District (TDD) that would have the authority to increase the sales tax within that district by up to three-quarters of a cent on every $1 spent. The city believes that a TDD would benefit the city by providing funds to make transportation improvements within the TDD.
Improving Bagnell Dam Blvd. from near Quality Inn to Bagnell Dam would be the focus of the TDD.
The TDD would be independent of the City of Lake Ozark. It is a mechanism under state law that allows for the enactment of an additional sales tax not to exceed 1 percent on all purchases within that district. The Lake Ozark TDD would limit the sales tax to a maximum of three-quarters of a percent.
Rick Hasty, chairman of the Lake Ozark Citizens Transportation Committee, told the board that he and committee members canvassed the Bagnell Dam Blvd. business district and collected signatures from the vast majority of businesses and property owners in the proposed TDD area in support of the TDD.
“It’s unbelievable the amount of support we’ve gotten from the businesses,” he offered. “We weren’t able to reach all of the businesses because some of them have closed for the season but those we contacted – probably 85 – were very supportive and agree that we need improvements to Bagnell Dam Blvd.”
The Transportation Committee was formed to promote ideas and solutions to aid in the restoration, repair and maintenance of the city’s transportation infrastructure.
Mayor Gerry Murawski, part of the Transportation Committee, added that most businesses owners or managers he talked to said “it’s about time.”
Alderman Vernon Jaycox congratulated the committee for its diligence in explaining the TDD proposal to business owners and collecting signatures for the petition.
“It’s past due and we all want our streets to be upgraded,” he offered. “I don’t think people mind paying a couple extra bucks for better streets.”
Alderman Judy Neels, who had several questions for Hasty, stressed the importance of transparency and keeping the public informed.
“I just want to make sure that everyone in that district is aware of what’s going on,” she urged.
Although there are four options for moving forward with the TDD, City Attorney Chris Rohrer said the city, which is the transportation authority, will file a petition for formation of the TDD with circuit judges in both Miller and Camden counties for their review. Once that happens, the city will place the TDD issue on the general municipal April ballot for consideration by only registered voters within the TDD since the funds collected would be used for improvements only to Bagnell Dam Blvd.
Once those formalities have been completed, the Transportation Committee will begin to promote the TDD and explain the specifics so registered voters within the TDD can make an informed decision.
“Businesses that will benefit with new roads are showing support,” Hasty pointed out. “We have to do this (raise funds locally) on our own since the state turned us down for a grant. This is the way the committee has determined is best. And we will be as transparent and open as possible.”
Formation of a TDD is the third phase in moving forward with improving the city’s 90-plus miles of streets.
Last June, Lake Ozark voters approved the collection of a 1-cent Use Tax on online purchases from businesses that do not have a presence in the state of Missouri. It is not an addition to the local sales tax but only applies to purchases made online.
Funds raised from the collection of the Use Tax would be used to help pay revenue bonds sold to pay for street improvements.
Voters also approved a measure giving the City of Lake Ozark authority to borrow up to $6 million over the next several years to contract for street improvements. Again, the Use Tax would help pay for those bonds and TDD funds would help pay for improvements to Bagnell Dam Blvd.