Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee said, last week, that he was told by the city attorney that a vote by the Board of Aldermen would not be necessary to begin collecting the voter-approved one-quarter cent sales tax.
The tax set to begin after the first of the year, will be dedicated to paying for completion of a project to rejuvenate the town's aging sewer system. The tax was approved by a 53 to 47 percent vote margin during the November 6 General Election.
In a November 21 news story, Van Dee told The Lake Today, the issue of the tax would have to be brought to the Board of Aldermen for final approval before it could be put in effect. However, he later learned that, in fact, all the necessary requirements needed to meet state statutes for initiating the tax were contained in the legal language on the ballot and no further action by the board was necessary.
"All we need now, to begin charging the sales tax if a certification of the election results from the county clerks," he said.
Voters approved the tax rather than a hike in sewer rates as the way to garner enough revenue to make the yearly payments on a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) loan taken out to handle the final phase of upgrades to the sewer system.
Van Dee said charging the one-quarter cent sales to purchases made inside the city limits will spread the cost of repaying the loan to visitors and vacationers who also use the city resources rather that "heaping" it onto the backs of the residents.
The final phase of the sewer upgrades is expected to cost approximately $2.2 million and will include replacing miles of aging mains and replacing several lift stations.
Once this final phase of the rehabilitation project is completed by the end of the 2014 construction season, the city will have met all the court-ordered upgrades to the system.