Yesterday I met with the Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors Task Force and representatives of the Osage Nation.

I want to thank the task force members for offering their concerns and questions that so many of us have. We discussed workforce housing, hospitality staffing, taxes or the lack thereof and numerous other comments.

After hearing of many of their thoughts it became apparent to me there is likely much disinformation in our lake communities about the Osage Nations plans. I would encourage everyone to take a wait and see approach as there is much more to learn.

What we did learn…

  1. The Osage Nation was awarded a 2.5 Million dollar grant from the Substance Abuse & Medical Health Administration in 2018. The Osage Nation has a strong commitment to addiction prevention and treatment.
  2. Rural communities that have Gaming have largely been impacted in a positive way. Better paying jobs, year long employment, diversification of a largely seasonal market were cited as positive impacts.
  3. Although Indian gaming is not subject to sales and real estate taxes the Osage Nation has historically given back to the communities they have a presence in via Payments in Lieu of Taxes known as PILOTS. These givebacks go to a community non-profit that will have discretion on where to distribute the funds. These funds can be used for County and Municipal infrastructure as well as EMS, Law Enforcement, Fire Protection and many other options.
  4. The process to gain the right to develop a Casino within Lake Ozark is largely through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Interior. Eventually a compact will be agreed to with the State of Missouri which will define some of the funding that will come to the state from the development. This process is well under way with hopes that a temporary facility could be open for business within the next couple of years.
  5. Yesterdays press release reflects a rendering of the proposed 10 story hotel, adjoining Casino and other amenities.

As we continue to learn more information on the Osage Nations proposed project I will share it with you.

Enjoy your snow day and stay off the roads!

Mayor Newberry