Ozark Communications Department

OZARK PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER SAMATHA PAYNE (right) apprises the Ozark Board of Aldermen of the communication department's informational video library available on the city's website.

 

Communication is key for a city government seeking to better inform its residents.

The Ozark Board of Aldermen listened to an update from Samantha Payne, who fills dual roles as public information officer and parks and recreation director.

“One of the coolest things we are doing this summer are the videos,” Payne said at the meeting Aug. 19. 

 “The videos are kind of neat. It’s been fun. We are working on a planning and zoning video now. We did one with the Christian County Library.”

The short videos covering a variety of topics and city and county resources can be found on the city’s website under the “Communication Department” tab. They are the latest effort to keep Ozark residents in the know.

“We are just trying to involve a lot of people,” Payne said. “The Communication Department is growing and we are really excited about the things we are doing.”

The short visuals give residents a look into upcoming events like a triathlon at The OC slated for early September, as well as safety tips from the Ozark Police Department plus construction updates on street and intersection improvements.

Payne said metrics indicate that the videos are popular and are being watched.

City Administrator Steve Childers said the video library is an additional communication tool.

“Creating a video library will be great. It is really going to be a neat resource,” Childers said. “People like things in a 30-second sound byte, I will tell you that.” 

The Ozark Board of Aldermen tackled a long agenda Aug. 19, but did it in relatively short order before moving into closed session to discuss real estate and personnel.

During the course of the legislative session, the board considered issuing a conditional use permit to Ozark Technical Community College so that its Richwood Valley Campus on Missouri Highway 14 can expand the agricultural program to keep livestock. 

Dr. Jeff Jochems, OTC Richwood Valley president, said the program would include a curriculum on managing small hobby farms and would include grazing animals like “sheep, goats and a few cattle.”

“We would appreciate your approval,” Jochems said. “We want to make the best use we can of our acreage.”

Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Posten wanted to ensure that the trail system at the campus would be unaffected. Jochems said there would be no changes to the trails. 

The board will act on the permit at its Sept. 3 meeting. 

The board approved a list of seven bills swiftly with no further discussion and by unanimous decision with the exception of one that dealt with regulating insurance proceeds.

The change to Ozark ordinances, in compliance with state law, will allow the city to collect 25 percent of insurance proceeds, if those proceeds cover more than 50 percent of the destruction, for a building within the city that has been severely damaged. That would protect the city if an owner neglects to salvage or demolish the structure. The impetus for the legislation was the possibility of an owner abandoning a damaged structure and leaving the city with the cleanup bill. 

Information provided by Childers said that “approximately 270 municipalities “ have enacted such ordinances including surrounding communities like Springfield, Republic, Branson, Clever and Aurora.

Posten cast a nay vote saying he didn’t think the legislation was the correct remedy for the situation.  

“I don’t think the city should be (interfering) with (a property owner’s) insurance,” Posten said. “If the city has to come up against a homeowner or property owner at a later time, we have the ability to do that.”

Ward 2 Alderman Ted Smith also dissented. 

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