The Ozark Board of Aldermen met in special session to dissolve a pair of lease agreements on a piece of property in a rapidly-developing part of town.
In 2017, Ozark bought the property at 751 North Ninth Street to use it as cold storage space for the Ozark Police Department.
In an emergency meeting Feb. 10, the board voted 4-0 to terminate a lease agreement and a base lease agreement on the property, with aldermen Nathan Posten, Ted Smith, Jim Stewart and R.J. Flores casting affirmative votes. Aldermen Bruce Galloway and Heather Alder were absent from the meeting, which was conducted virtually by Zoom teleconferencing.
According to the property record card from the Christian County Assessor's Office, the land at 751 North Ninth Street is valued at $36,900. The structures on it are valued at $448,900, and the assessed valuation is $155,460.
In order to finance the purchase made Aug. 31, 2017, the city of Ozark used the Ozark Public Funding Corporation. The corporation is a separate legal entity that is part of two leases for the property. One is a lease agreement between the city and the public funding corporation, the other is a base lease agreement, also between the city and
"What those documents establish is a way for the public funding corporation to own the property and the city to lease it, and then pay what the cost of the property was back to the public funding corporation, and then they pay the bank," Callaway said. "It's really a financing system."
The lease and the base least still exist as recorded.
"In order to clean the title up and have it prepared to sell the property, we will have to terminate both lease agreements," Callaway said.
In order to terminate the leases, the Ozark Board of Aldermen needed to pass legislation to direct the public funding corporation to sell the property at a certain price in a way that complies with Ozark's laws that regulate how the city can buy and sell real property.
Adjacent property owners include the Ozark School District, the Ozark Senior Center, a family trust to the north, and Ozark Mill, LLC, the ownership group for the Bass Pro Shops' Finley Farms Development on the east side of Ninth Street, or State Route NN.
During the meeting, Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner said that the emergency session was necessary to meet the property's closing date.