Road, bridge vandalism gets attention at weekly commissioners’ meeting
Several recent acts of vandalism were discussed at Monday’s meeting of the Ozark County Commission. Western District Commissioner Greg Donley reported the Friday night theft of fence posts he had pushed into a large hole on the submerged slab at Haskins Ford to provide a warning for those trying to cross the Little North Fork of the White River on County Road 863. Presiding Commissioner John Turner said he had assisted the driver of a vehicle who had inadvertently driven into the dangerous hole, which is currently hidden due to high water. The missing T posts have been replaced with large concrete blocks, commissioners said. (See photo at left.)
Officially, Haskins Ford remains closed, Donley said, and local residents who continue to use the ford are reminded that they do so at their own risk.
One of the “road closed” signs on County Road 861 was also stolen Friday, Donley said, adding that the road is now open. A stop sign was also removed at D Highway, causing a serious traffic risk. “It’s outright dangerous” said Eastern District Commissioner Gary Collins.
On the Ozark County Commissioners Facebook page, several residents commented about other signs that had been bent or knocked down along HH Highway in the Isabella area. Others posted that mailboxes were knocked down or damaged and a personal road sign had also been stolen in that area.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Donley at 417-683-0607 or the Ozark County Sherriff’s Office at 417-679-4633.
During their meeting, the commissioners also voted to approve a preliminary engineering contract with Anderson Engineering for the replacement of the bridge over Pond Fork Creek on County Road 912. Funds for the project will come from the Off-System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, which uses the abbreviation BRO; the program is administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.
County Assessor Jama Berry, who also attended the meeting, reminded residents that annual property tax assessment forms were due March 1 but are still being accepted past the deadline. She said Ozark County property owners who fail to submit their forms may be fined. For more information, call the assessor’s office at 417-679-4705.