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Ozark Aldermen approve remote lock for FEMA shelter and honor outgoing Alderman

used courtesy of Ozark
Seal for the City of Ozark

At its Monday meeting Ozark’s Board of Aldermen considered a contract for new locks and honored outgoing Alderman Rj Flores. Flores’ absence will leave a vacancy on the Board for Ward One.

The City of Ozark is taking steps to address resident’s concerns about accessing the FEMA shelter at the city’s community center the OC.

Ozark’s policy is to manually unlock and open the shelter when a tornado watch is issued. During a storm on Sunday, April 28 the city experienced a sudden tornado warning, with no preceding watch. Residents arrived to find the shelter locked and were left out in the rain.

At the time the city explained that efforts were under way to allow for remote control of the shelter’s locks. After requesting bids for the project, a contract with the company Altec was presented to the Ozark Board of Aldermen Monday to address the issue. It was expedited and approved at the meeting.

Interim Parks & Recreation Director Hayden Ponsar said the contract includes security precautions on site, and the city will be able to easily track who has access to and utilizes the remote unlocking tools. He said his department is now and will be better prepared with multiple fail-safes.

Ponsar said he and other Ozark staff have developed an A, B and C plan that will become a B, C and D plan with the future remote locks becoming plan A. He and a representative from Altex fielded numerous questions from Ozark’s Board of Aldermen.

The contract includes, among other items, backup power for the remote locks, telecommunications equipment, security cameras and environmental sensors. The contract was amended mid-meeting. The total cost will come out near $31,000. A timeline for the work was not discussed.

A Vacancy in Ward One in Ozark

At Monday’s meeting the mayor and board of aldermen also honored outgoing Ward One Alderman Rj Flores. Flores is stepping down from his role. In a statement released online the city described Flores as a “steadfast and dedicated public servant.”

Flores served as alderman for just over four years, from April 2020 to this week.

This leaves a vacancy on the board for Ward One.

Those interested in filling the vacancy must be at least 21 years old, have lived in the city for at least one year and reside in the ward. Ward One is generally located on the southern end of the city. The mayor and current board members will review applicants and select a replacement. Applications will be accepted until 5 P.M. June 7.

Find the application and more information online at, contact Ozark’s City Hall at 417-581-2407.