With the urging of a local Realtor, the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen last week decided to keep the Key Largo interchange issue alive by placing it on the next meeting agenda.
Mark Beeler, with The Beeler Group RE/Max Lake of the Ozarks, told the board he lost a potential client for the west end of Osage Beach Parkway because of the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding the beleaguered area.
“I encourage the city to think about its options,” Beeler said after explaining that his client, a car dealership, had decided not to locate in Osage Beach, especially not in the Key Largo area.
Beeler said he thought the available property on the west end of the city offered potential to the dealership. He hoped getting an anchor business west of Rt. KK might spark further development in the area and might get MoDOT to consider a long-term solution to traffic flow in the area.
After reviewing the options, the client gave these reasons for moving on, according to Beeler. They were:
•The future of the Key Largo interchange is uncertain
•Even if there was a plan, when that plan would be implemented is uncertain
•No interest in investing in the area with a dealership with the Key Largo area being a three-way slip ramp
“When you consider the amount of sales tax a car dealership would have generated, that’s a very significant amount of money,” he said.
Beeler said the only direction Osage Beach can expand is toward the west since the city is landlocked by the lake and by Lake Ozark. And when motorists approach the city from the west, all they see is an interchange that’s been open, closed and open again. The signage for motorists is “terrible,” he added, saying MoDOT “has put the city in a compromising position.”
“My point is to raise the question: Is the west side truly the gateway to Osage Beach? Quick, easy and cheap are not in the best interests of the city,” he said.
He urged the city to think about its options, and to ask MoDOT for a full interchange because “not doing so will have a significant impact on economic development.”
Beeler addressed the board early in the meeting during the communications portion of the agenda. At the end of the meeting when board members have the opportunity comment on issues, Alderman Steve Kahrs thanked the city for sending a letter to MoDOT expressing the city’s concerns.
“The future if this city is the west side and the faster we can push MoDOT to correct these problems the better off we are,” he said.
Aldermen Kevin Rucker agreed, saying the city should be proactive with MoDOT.
“We need to figure out a plan of action and continue on that avenue,” he said. “MoDOT has said they didn’t want to do what we want them to. They’d just as soon bury the issue.”
Rucker asked that the issue be placed on the Feb. 7 agenda.