Group in Ozark is working to stop annexation of county land

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 9:37 PM CDT
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People‌ in Ozark are saying no more development.

Officials are considering annexing more than 350 acres of county land into the city limits.

Laura Massey and several people living near a huge swath of Christian County land, near the eastern edge of Ozark, off 9th Street say they're against annexation.

They say they felt their concerns were ignored at the public hearing.

"It was literally just hearing and talking to other people around the community and just talking among ourselves and saying we've got to do something. We can't just sit here.," she said.

The group contacted the city to find out how to start a petition to get the board of alderman's attention.

"Actually two separate petitions so that people could have a voice both ways," said Massey.

The group has been canvassing Ozark trying to get people to weigh in on whether or not the more than 350 acres should become part of the city.

They believe that more information should be made available to tax payers.

According to Ozark City Administrator, Steve Childers, the owner's of the land have had it for nearly 20 years. They are just now deciding what to do with it. He explained during a phone interview that no final plans for use of the land have been made. Annexation is just the first step in a long process.

The concerned group is just hoping not much about the area will change.

"We'd like to see it preserved actually. We'd like to make sure that the land bridge is protected. That the wild life out there is protected. Ultimately that's we'd like to see," said Jim Palmer.

They are doing all they can to their voices heard.

"If you can't win at least you tried and at least you put up a fight," said Massey.

The group has set up a website to collect signatures in addition to the paper petition. They have until Friday to submit the paperwork.

They plan to be at the first reading of the city ordinance for annexation Monday.