The Mountain View City Council abolished the Ozark Folk Cultural Center Commission at last week’s meeting after a lengthy discussion about the commission’s authority and lack of communication with city officials.
Mayor Roger Gardner said he had received a lease renewal request on behalf of the Ozark Folk Center (OFC) for a tract of 320 acres owned by the city. The existing lease was for 50 years at $1,000 per year and ends in September 2019. The renewal request was for 14 years with the option to extend by five years. This would coincide with an 80-acre lease that covers the grounds where the state park was constructed. Another lease covers a tract of 238 acres. Both of the larger tracts are undeveloped, but the OFC has done some research and mapping of a proposed bike trail.
The letter from State Parks Director Grady Spann requested action by the city so that any changes requested could be reviewed by the attorney general’s office and state parks, recreation & travel commission before signing.
Gardner said he had attorney Josh Collums reviewing the agreement, and during that time he was informed by Spann that no action would be required because the agreement was already in place.
Gardner said in looking into how the commission is set up and its goal, he discovered the commission can act on behalf of the city.
The commission was established in 1965 after passage of a state law that allows municipal governments to establish such commissions for creation and/or management of parks and other projects, giving them authority to execute lease agreements and more.
Read the full story in the July 31, 2019 issue.