Ozark Newsletter NOVEMBER News and Updates 2020

Instead of watching the election poopa, I watch this video and I would highly recommend you watch it.~ Buddy Huggins  

NOVEMBER news and updates
NOVEMBER 2020 | Issue 49
From The Mayor's Corner with Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner
City News and Updates
Public Works, Ozark Police Department, Parks and Recreation
Upcoming Programs and Events
Making Ozark Better Every Day
Happy Thanksgiving, Ozarkers! 

There are currently a lot of distractions making an attitude of thanksgiving more difficult than usual. But let me encourage you to look around you and find the bright spots.

From the city's point of view, we are well on our way with the downtown water and sewer revitalization project. Starting on Hall Street east of 3rd Street and working our way south, we're about to wrap up the Farmer Street improvements and headed to Brick Street. Church Street and the square will be next. While this will cause inconvenience for a while, the long term results will be worth it. Some of those lines were close to 75 years old and badly deteriorated and prone to break. The dependability and increased fire suppression ability will be a marked improvement. And the square will be a lot easier to navigate with new pavement, parking striping and a one way traffic flow configuration.

And it's hard not to notice the construction on Jackson Street from downtown all the way out to Fremont. By this time next year, and hopefully before, that stretch of road will be two lanes in each direction, have a center turn lane and new sidewalks with two trail underpasses between the Junior High and Innovation Center. When that is completed traffic congestion on Jackson should see a marked improvement.

And by the time you read this, you may have already driven over the new Riverside Bridge. The ribbon cutting is slated for Monday, November 9th. That will be a major safety and convenience improvement for the community. An added plus is that the old bridge was dismantled and will still be repurposed as a walking bridge across the Finley River at the Finley Farms development of the Morris Family.

So I am incredibly THANKFUL for all of you who voted for the Transportation Sales Tax in April, 2017. None of these improvements would have been possible without that tax revenue and cost share partnerships with MoDot, Christian County and the Ozark Special Road District. This is all working to make Ozark a better place to live. The City is proud to be in partnership with all of you as well!!

Rick Gardner
City Hall will be closed Nov. 11 in observance of Veteran's Day
City Hall will be closed November 26-27 for Thanksgiving.
Missouri General Election Day:
Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, 2020
We encourage residents to fulfill their civic duty and go out and vote!
Have questions about the upcoming election day?
State of Community 2020:
State of Community 2020
The State of Community 2020 virtual ceremony with county, city, and state officials present via Zoom. The City of Ozark and Christian County teamed up to present a video about what projects and accomplishments are happening around town.

Due to the overwhelming rise in COVID-19 cases across Christian County and subsequent increase in the number of hospitalized residents, the City of Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner has enacted an executive Mask Covering Order* to take effect Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020 at 12:01 AM to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the county. The Mask Covering Order is set to expire December 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM unless otherwise extended, rescinded, superseded or amended.

Under the ordinance, everyone over the age of 11 will be required to wear a face covering when in public spaces in the city limits of Ozark. Exemptions are made for those with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering, and when any party to a communication is deaf or hard of hearing and not wearing a Face Covering is essential to communication.

A full list of exemptions, penalties and enforcements can be viewed on the Masking Ordinance FAQ page at this link: Click here to view

“The decision to enact this Mask Covering Order was not taken lightly and a great deal of consideration went into this decision,” Mayor Gardner said. “We took into account that hospitals in our area are overwhelmed with patients, and the Ozark School District is seeing an increase in quarantined students and teachers. I am asking City of Ozark residents to wear their masks in accordance with this order so that we may see a healthier Ozark in the near future.”
*Executive Order- is an official directive or command from the Mayor. On March 18, 2020 the Board of Alderman of the City of Ozark approved an Ordinance No 20-017, delegating authority to the Mayor, after consultation with appropriate city, county and state officials as determined within his discretion, to issue orders amending the original declaration of civil emergency.
The full press release and additional quotes by the Mayor can be viewed on our website here: Click here to view
Announcement of new public-private partnership to save the Millpond Bridge:
For Immediate Release
October 22, 2020

Preservation in Place: New public-private partnership to improve traffic flow and save 100-year-old bridge

View the webpage here: https://bit.ly/3oi7r64

OZARK, Mo. -- Community officials introduced a resolution to establish a new public-private partnership which will help protect and restore the Millpond Bridge -- an iconic symbol of the City of Ozark and Christian County. The Millpond Bridge will remain publicly owned and accessible under this partnership.

The partnership is a collaborative effort between the City of Ozark, Ozark Special Road District, Christian County, the State of Missouri, and Finley Farms, a new community-oriented development on the banks of the Finley River, and is intended to address long standing congestion and infrastructure issues while enhancing overall quality of life.
Under the agreement, a portion of the new sales tax revenue from visitors coming solely to the revitalized Ozark Mill will be dedicated to the proposed transportation improvements. The Finley Farms developer will also directly support many of the enhancements under terms of the Transportation Development District and help enhance the vision for a more connected and accessible recreational area along the river.

The partnership will also serve as a catalyst for additional community enhancements. New bike lanes and pedestrian walkways that connect to a regional trail system reflect a pedestrian-friendly approach. The failing Finley River dam will also be repaired where floodwater has caused ongoing deterioration. A key recreational feature in the area, the dam plays a critical role in flood mitigation, protection of the Millpond Bridge foundation from flood impacts and positively contributes to area home values and recreational opportunities.

“We are incredibly excited to announce this partnership to our residents who love the Millpond Bridge and what it represents to our community,” said Ozark City Administrator Steve Childers. “By creating a public-private partnership with these other entities, we are now able to save the Millpond Bridge and begin the process to improve traffic flow in this area and enhance overall quality of life for our residents.”

Improving Traffic Flow
The Transportation Development District and current construction of MoDOT projects will implement a series of improvement projects intended to enhance overall traffic flow and safety throughout the area near downtown Ozark. The enhancements are based off recommendations from a comprehensive traffic study that identified solutions to alleviate current congestion issues. Key improvements slated to begin in early 2021 include:
  • Reconstruction of the 3Rd St./McCracken Road Intersection.
  • Adding a right turn lane at 3rd Street and West Jackson Street
  • Adding an additional westbound lane on West Jackson prior to the intersection
  • Adding a free-flow right turn lane from W. Jackson to NN
  • Adding two left turn lanes from NN to W. Jackson
  • Adding several box culvert improvements to reduce traffic closures during flooding near the 3Rd St. intersection.
  • Improving pedestrian connections between the downtown area, park, schools and residential areas.

Three years ago, the Missouri Department of Transportation determined the poor structural integrity of the 100-year Millpond Bridge could result in its permanent closure and recommended that planning for the replacement of the bridge should be considered. However, due to rising flood elevations and modern construction requirements that would require the acquisition of private land, a new bridge in the same location was determined to be financially unfeasible.
In order to protect the bridge and maintain public access, the Transportation Development District will reinforce the bridge’s structural integrity. Consistent with the recently completed engineer’s traffic study recommendations, the bridge and surrounding portion of McCracken Road will be converted to one-way use in the future, along with the addition of a two-way bike and pedestrian lane to support ongoing access to other important public facilities like the park and the downtown area.
Importantly, the bridge will not be converted to one-way use until all other area traffic flow enhancement projects are complete, minimizing the impact to residents. The long-term effect of the enhancements will allow local residents to maintain convenient access while reorienting exiting Finley Farms visitor traffic toward local businesses in downtown Ozark.

Media Contact: Samantha Payne, PIO City of Ozark, Missouri
Phone: (417) 581-7002 ext 2001
Pick up your yard sign and/or flyers for your hom or business at these locations:

Ozark Chamber of Commerce

Ozark City Hall
205 N. 1st St.
Ozark, MO 65721

Ozark Community Center
Tag, share, reply to us with a picture of you wearing your mask and feature in our socials!
Public Works
Riverside Bridge Update
The completion of the Riverside Bridge is quickly approaching and we are all extremely excited. In a post last week we announced that the “target date” for opening the bridge to traffic was October 30th. Due to heavy rainfall amounts, and more on the way in the next couple of days, the construction site has become significantly saturated. The need for the site to dry out is essential to complete some of the remaining items such as final grading of slopes, seed/straw for vegetation, installation of signage, street striping, etc.

All parties (City of Ozark, Christian County, Ozark Special Road District) met this morning with our contractors and engineers and set a new bridge opening “target date” of Saturday November 7th. Certainly all efforts will be made to beat this target but that will depend on the weather. For your safety and the safety of our construction crews please do not drive around the barricades until the project is fully complete.

Thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing you cross the bridge on November 7th.
Crews are working hard on Water and Sewer infrastructure improvements, as well as the 3rd St. Water mains extension.
Ozark Police Department
Congratulations Corporal Ronald Turner!
The members of the Missouri House of Representatives, One Hundredth General Assembly presented recently retired Corporal Roldan Turner with this resolution for his superb service. Corporal Turner rendered twenty-three years of service with the Ozark Police Department. Thank you for your years of dedication.

Ozark PD Officers wore their pink shirts as part of their uniform to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month this past October; officers will be participating in 'No-shave November' to continue to help grow awareness for cancer patients everywhere.

Parks and Recreation Department
Kids Day Off
November 3rd
7am - 6pm
Register here
Holiday Camp at The OC
Dec. 23, 28th, 29th, 30th
7am - 6pm
More info here.
Snowdays Off at The OC
Learn more by clicking here.
On The Road Again - Tulsa Aquarium Trip
November 10th
More details here.
Christmas Lights of Ozark
Begins November 13th!
5pm - 11pn
More info here.
Mayor's Tree Lighting
November 12
6pm - 8pm
More info here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   SEE PART 2  Starts at 2:06:12 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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