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Can Gun Raffle, T-Shirt Sales, Donations Help Save Lake Of The Ozarks' Swinging Bridge?

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Swinging Bridge at Lake of the Ozarks - Grand Auglaize Bridge

MILLER COUNTY, Mo. — The Lake of the Ozarks' historic swinging bridge, known as the Grand Auglaize Bridge, was built for $11,500 in the early 1930s. But now the 90-year-old bridge's fate hangs in the balance, and the local community is cobbling together ways to fund the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to restore the iconic structure.

Estimates on the cost to rehab the bridge currently vary. Miller County Presiding Commissioner Tom Wright says the county faces an estimate of $360,000 to at least reopen the swinging bridge to vehicular and foot traffic. On the other hand, Miller County Second District Commissioner Brian Duncan says the figures he has were closer to $175,000 after inspectors visited. Both commissioners reported those numbers at the November meeting of the Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge committee. Wright told the group he would check into Duncan’s estimate and report back at the December meeting.

The November meeting of the SHBSB was held on Thursday, Nov. 18 at The Cave Pumpkin Patch in Brumley. There, SHBSB secretary Victoria Beabout reported the balance of funds was $8,543.43, including funds raised already by the gun raffle plus a benefit dinner with silent auction in October and Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge t-shirt sales.

For more information on the effort, or to read about the bridge’s history, go to www.savethehistoricalbrumleyswingingbridge.com

Gun Raffle

A drawing for three guns will be held at the Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge meeting in December. With the group able to purchase 2 rifles and a shotgun for a raffle benefitting the bridge restoration, there will be three drawings and three winners for the following guns:

-Savage 93 F .22 5-Round Bolt Action Rifle

-Stevens 320 pump 12-gauge shotgun with a Mossy Oak stock

-Mossberg Patriot 6.5 Creedmoor .22, 5-Round Bolt Action Rifle

The guns are on display at Bink’s B&M Market in Brumley, where the winners must pick up and be able to meet all FFL and federal requirements. 

Tickets are available for purchase at Bink’s Market, TLC Convenience Store, The Iberia Bar, and Newcomb Hardware in Iberia. SHBSB’s president Mark Beabout will present a check from the proceeds to the Miller County Commission when the raffle is complete for help to restore the 90-year old Grand Auglaize swinging bridge.

Gun raffle sales will continue until the Dec. 16 Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge group at 6 p.m. at The Cave Pumpkin Patch in Brumley.

At the November meeting, other revenues of fundraising were discussed, and board member Randy Russell reported Lamar Advertising has offered a discounted billboard program like they have been providing for the Green’s Mill Bridge restoration group who seeks to restore the Little Niangua Suspension Bridge in Roach. The cost to the Brumley Bridge group would be $200 for placement on Lamar’s billboards. The advertising would rotate to different areas of the Lake, with the first to be placed on Osage Beach Parkway.

Commissioner Wright reported that more funds could be on the way for the restoration. Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments (LOCLG) representative Regina Lynch has been keeping in contact with the legislative office of Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who is the leading Republican on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies. Blunt’s office is working toward finding federal funds for the bridge project. The availability of ARPA federal funds could help assist the financial need of the restoration project. Blunt’s subcommittee utilizes public-private partnerships to accelerate development of project funds. Blunt has his eye on the bridge project thanks to communication from Lynch and LOCLG. Lynch also reported the possibility of a donation from Gascosage Electric similar in the amount that Ameren Corporation donated for the effort.

Recently, the small bridge that opens into the Swinging Bridge Park has also been closed due to foundation boards being damaged by traffic. It is barricaded on both sides by gravel piles. The county has been ordered to repair the smaller entry bridge. Wright said there was no time estimate on when the bridge will be reopened with repairs made.

For more information on the effort, or to read about the bridge’s history, go to www.savethehistoricalbrumleyswingingbridge.com

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