The Christian County Commission announced the purchase of 39 acres of land in western Ozark.
The county government announced the $1.75 million purchase of a tract of land near the intersection of Missouri Highway 14 and North 25th Street in Ozark. For now, the land will be an investment, but it could one day be home to county government buildings, such as a jail.
Presiding Commissioner Ralph Phillips noted in a press release that Christian County’s current jail in downtown Ozark is already crowded, and that within 20 or fewer years, will be deemed inadequate altogether. In a statement issued Jan. 15, Phillips said that the purchase offers Christian County some options as it grows and requires more infrastructure in order for its government to operate.
“Christian County has been and is projected to remain as one of the fastest growing counties in Missouri,” Phillips said in the statement. “In making this purchase, the commission agreed that locating a sizable parcel of land which has access to roads and utilities will only become more difficult and costly as our area continues to develop and grow.”
The county commission used some reserve funds to complete the purchase, but the commissioners say they expect the value of the land to appreciate over time.
The land sits to the west of the Mercy clinic in Ozark, on the north side of Highway 14. The Christian County Assessor's Office records show the land was previously owned by Diversity Commercial Investments, a Springfield-based limited liability corporation.
Phillips also said that the land’s location, on the west side of U.S. Highway 65, would make any future buildings on the site easy to access for residents of both Ozark and Nixa. The land is also served by Ozark's municipal utilities.