City still hopeful for state street grant

The city of Lake Ozark doesn’t give up easily.

City officials learned several weeks ago that their request for a $3 million matching funds Governor’s Transportation Cost share Grant was denied. The money would have gone a long way toward fixing the city’s aging inventory of streets. In fact, half of the $3 million would probably have covered the cost of renovating Bagnell Dam Blvd. from near Quality Inn to Bagnell Dam.

The caveat – had the grant request been approved – was that the city’s share would have been $1.5 million.

A 2018-19 Cochran Engineering Road Assessment estimates total cost to fix the city’s 90 miles of streets would be between $5 and $7 million.

While the grant denial sent city officials back to the drawing board, Mayor Gerry Murawski wasn’t about to accept the state’s decision. He told the board of aldermen recently that he’s been in contact with MoDOT and other state officials to lobby the city’s need.

Murawski heard from the governor’s chief of staff Feb. 10 that the state is considering additional grant applications after some of the initial recipients either couldn’t meet the match requirements, or were ineligible for other reasons. That left a small pile of money that was available for distribution to others who had been denied.

“The state is going to issue grants to someone who lost, but we don’t know yet who it will be,” the mayor explained. “I can’t get any closer than that to an answer.”

State officials continue to stress the importance of the city being able to match half of the grant amount – something the city will be closer to doing if voters April 7 authorize the city to borrow up to $6 million for street improvements and approve implementation of a Use Tax on out-of-state online purchases.


Meet and Greet Coming Home

The mayor did have good news about the Lake Race Meet and Greet.

Beavers at the Dam near Bagnell Dam hosted the circuit race for several years in early June before the race was moved last year to near Camden on the Lake and Shady Gators at the 7-mile mark of the Main Channel.

When it was at Beavers, Lake Ozark hosted a Meet and Greet along Bagnell Dam Blvd., giving racers, support groups and other vendors associated with boat racing the opportunity to show off their toys. But when the race moved up the lake, Lake Ozark lost the Meet and Greet.

But after working with race officials for several months, Mayor Murawski announced that the Meet and Greet is coming back to Bagnell Dam Blvd. Thursday, May 28.