Lake Ozark voters to decide whether city can borrow $6 million for road repair

LAKE OZARK, Mo. -- A year-long study showed Lake Ozark Mayor Gerry Murawski the news he already feared.

"About $6 million to do all of our roads, $3 million to do Bagnell Dam Boulevard," Murawski said.

Murawski says there are two or three roads that need help immediately.

One is Lighthouse Road of of Highway W.

"If we let it go, it's going to slide down the hill and become very wet," Murawski said.

But Lighthouse Road alone would cost $1.5 million.

"Our $72,000 a year in transportation budget isn't going to fix it," Murawski said.

The city is now looking into four options.

A state grant isn't likely.

"Missouri, as they usually do, gave it to all of the major cities and not the rural areas."

Two tax options may be more likely to pass in April.

One involves allowing the city to collect online sales tax that currently goes to the state. That would only generate about $125,000 per year.

The other would allow the city to borrow $6 million dollars, then form a tax district that would collect a 1-percent sales tax that slowly pays off the loan.

"It still doesn't mean that we're going to borrow $6 million," Murawski said. "What it means is that we have the voters approval to do that. It still has to go through the board on any particular thing that we want to use that money for."

If voters don't allow the city to borrow that money, the mayor says the city might have to resort to an increase in property tax, which isn't something he really wants to do.

During a meeting in November, business owners said they'd support that over the 1-percent sales tax.

"These roads are important to us, and I don't want my kids in 20 years to have the same issues," said Michael Sasseen, owner of America's Swimming Pool Company in Lake Ozark.

Both of the questions will be on the April 7, 2020 ballot.

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