The City of Lake Ozark took the first step toward a sizeable change within the municipalities Police Department at last nights Board of Alderman meeting.
Over the course of the past few years City leadership has engaged in discussions with Miller & Camden Counties as well as our neighboring City Osage Beach to learn of dispatch operations within the counties and city.
The primary reason for the discussions was to learn of possible cost savings measures that would not come at a cost of quality of services. These efforts stalled out during prior administration however current City Administrator Harrison Fry and Lake Ozark’s new Chief of Police Jeff Christiansen have continued to carry the initiative forward.
After much discussion with Osage Beach Officials the City of Lake Ozark and Osage Beach formalized a “communication service agreement” between the two towns whereas Osage Beach would provide dispatch services for the City of Lake Ozark. As a part of that agreement Lake Ozark Dispatch Staff will be provided a severance (with conditions) and will be encouraged to apply for employment with Osage Beach PD.
After learning of the details of the communication service agreement the Lake Ozark Board of Alderman gave it their full support with a unanimous vote of approval. The board did discuss continued input from both cities and plan to consider any additional comments or information prior to the second reading of this Bill.
If approved in Lake Ozark, the City of Osage Beach Board will be presented with the commitment from Lake Ozark and will ask their board to take the same steps to finalize the process.
While these types of changes might seem like a step backward to some, split service agreements are very common in 4th class cities. The City of Lake Ozark would be faced with upgrading dispatch equipment at a cost approaching $500k in the very near future. In addition, the annual cost savings to the City of Lake Ozark is projected to be around $250k. Officials from both Lake Ozark and Osage Beach are confidant service will not be negatively impacted.
It’s your tax dollars we are spending, this is one example of how we can make better use of those tax dollars.
Thank you to everyone who has worked on this agreement from both cities!
Dennis Newberry
Mayor of Lake Ozark