Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 1:29 pm

LAKE OZARK, Mo. — Years of planning and saving to reach financial stability and preparedness have paid off for Lake Ozark.

On Tuesday evening, the Alderman Board approved the 2015 year budget though Bill#2014-47 and “Budget Amendment Three 2014” through Bill#2014-46. These bills show that the city of Lake Ozark will be transitioning into 2015 with “just-in-case” revenue saved in almost every facet of the city’s operating budget.

Under the current leadership, the city of Lake Ozark has worked to store up revenue in reserve for any unexpected needs. City Administrator Dave Van Dee explained, “We are more financially stable now and able to deal with issues and things we need to take care of than 3 or 4 years ago. We were very, very tight, with very little reserve funds. There was so much going on no one was [paying] attention to the bottom line. Hopefully we’ll keep those days behind us.”

Van Dee noted at the Aldermen meeting, “We are not wealthy. We balanced every fund with no cash carry over. That’s a credit to the departments and the Board and everyone looking after our money.”

The 2015 budget analysis reads, “It should be noted that the City is maintaining additional general revenue funds in the form of CD’s and cash accounts… prior to the start of the FY2015 budget year which will bring the total reserve amount to $207,996.02 not inclusive of cash in hand.”

The transportation fund has a cash reserve of $60,105.27, the sewer fund has $210,306.50, the water fund has $150,109.27, and the sewer capital improvement fund has $592,737.85 by the end of 2014.

The aforementioned numbers are not included in the total revenue calculations for the year, but are kept distinctly separate to be used only when necessary. The analysis went on to state, “The reserve funds are not considered to be part of the budget and require a specific action on the part of the Board prior to their use in operations.”

Along with the standard city operational funds, the 2015 budget includes a 3 percent wage increase with limited exceptions for all employees after successful performance reviews and funds for employee and board training/ conference attendance. Also, the amount of $45,614 has been allocated for the lease of the New City Hall/Police Department facility. Funds were also allocated for two new police vehicles and the Incode real estate module system for administrative use.

The 2015 Budget report is broken down into each department and allocated fund. There is not a “grand total” at the end, since each segment is its own entity. Funds do not carry over to other areas so a total is unnecessary for city officials. But, when the categories are calculated together, the city of Lake Ozark plans to spend $9,327,482.18, and expects revenue of $9,712,623.27 in 2015.

Due to any unforeseeable price changes, incidents or city needs these numbers could be altered by the city with board approval throughout the next year, but due to Van Dee and the City Staff’s saving efforts, the city feels much more prepared for the unexpected than it has in previous years.

Other Business

-Also during the meeting the board passed Bill#2014-45 contracting Graves and Associates, certified Public Accountants, LLC to audit the financial statements of the city of Lake Ozark for the 2014 year.

-Resolution 2014R-22 was approved so that Lake Ozark could deposit into its general revenue accounts funds paid to the City from Phase II General Sales Tax Reimbursement subaccount for 2014. Van Dee said, “We do this every year to make sure we close out the year.”

-The city will be accepting filings from candidates for a two-year Mayoral term. Also the city will be accepting candidacy for Aldermen positions Ward I, II, and III, as Alderman Judy Neels, Alderman Tony Otto, and Alderman Todd Painter’s terms are coming to an end in April 2015.  Applications are accepted between Dec. 16 and Jan. 20.

-Chief Launderville explained to the board that he is in the process of reviewing and editing the Police Department Policies and Procedures book. The current two-inch-thick chronicle is a medley of policies pulled from the best of the Chiefs Association and other police departments policies. Launderville intends to work through each part, have City Attorney Rodger Gibbons review it, and then train officers on the content. Since the book has not been updated since 2010, there is content that is out of date or no longer applicable to the Lake Ozark Police.

-Municipal Judge William F. Washburn was instated, with an official start date of Jan. 1, 2015.

-Resolution 2014R-21 was approved creating a policy for the city to dispense with the traditional competitive bidding when the city seeks to purchase specialized equipment such as a new dump truck or snow plow. Through this resolution, Lake Ozark’s public works department will seek solicitors directly for bids to purchase one of the qualifying vehicles. Van Dee noted that this was a necessary since most of these types of specialized vehicles were not kept in stock at local dealers, and would have to be sought out anyway. This resolution helps to expedite the process so that the city can be properly equipped.

Along with this, the board approved Bill# 2014-44 to have Al Scheppers Motor Company to begin assembly of a new 2015 International Dump Truck/Snow Plow for the city for $140,534. It will be delivered in 60-90 days.  The city pays upon delivery, so it is purchased out of the 2015 budget.

-Bill# 2014-48 was approved.  Van Dee told the board that in this bill “essentially we are redefining overtime to a 14-day period with a maximum of 86 hours. I’m concerned with our real overtime expense, and I’d like to see what real overtime is.” Previously the department operated on a 28-day, 171 hour overtime schedule, but Van Dee believes this will be more accurate and efficient for both payroll and staff management.

-Due to its proximity to Christmas, the Lake Ozark Dec. 23, 2014 Aldermen Meeting was canceled. The next Alderman Meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, 6 p.m.

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I am a member of the Lake Ozark city planning and zoning.  This is wonderful news for our area!
Valerie Littrell - 573-216-4991 - SellingTheLake