Q: Does the City of Ozark own and maintain all the streets within the city limits of Ozark?
A: Actually NO, it is far more complex than that. The corporate limits of the City of Ozark sits within the three larger political boundaries of the State, County and Ozark Special Road District (OSRD). The City works in partnership with all of these agencies who also manage public transportation systems. We work together to develop long range transportation plans and use cooperative funding agreements to complete large scale projects we would not otherwise be able to do on our own. For example, by using the City’s new 3/8 cent transportation sales tax as matching funds (expected to generate $5.5M annually) we were able to create a 5-year transportation improvement plan worth over $20M dollars of community projects through cost-share agreements.
There are mainly three types of roadways – Arterials, Collectors, and Local Streets. The larger roadways carrying the heavy traffic are arterials, such as Highway 65, Business 65, Highway NN, 14, or CC, and are owned and maintained by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot). It’s beneficial that MoDot owns these larger roadways as they are the most expensive to maintain. Most of the Collector streets in the City of Ozark such as Longview, Riverside, McCracken, Fremont, and Hartley Streets just to name a few, are owned and maintained by the OSRD. Most local or neighborhood streets are owned and maintained by the City of Ozark. Although Cristian County mainly owns those roadways outside of municipal boundaries, including rural gravel roads and bridges, they do provide a portion of their transportation sales tax revenue to the various special road districts and municipalities to help us fund local projects. For example, the new Riverside Bridge project is being completed through a cooperative funding agreement between the City of Ozark, OSRD, and Christian County.
As the cost of planning, building, and maintaining, a safe transportation system increases, it will be essential for all of our agencies to work together to fund a safe and efficient transportation system for the future.