BRANSON, Mo. -- Tours will no longer be offered at the Table Rock Dam. The Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation announced this week is it’s stopping all voluntary services, after waiting seven months for a response from Washington D.C.
In August of 2013, the US Army Corps of Engineers cut ties with non-profits nationwide, including the ORHF.
"The corps was operating outside of their authority, those agreements had to be terminated," says Army Corps of Engineers Table Rock Lake Manager Greg Oller.
Starting in 2010, the ORHF began running daily operations at Dewey Short Visitor Center and the gift shop inside, provided tours of the Dam, and helped to maintain 8 recreational areas around the Lake. All of those services were used to fund the non-profit, "it was a good relationship, we were learning to work together, we shared a common goal," says Oller.
The Ozarks River Heritage Foundation released a statement this week saying:
"After several months of hoping for a satisfactory new agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to no avail, the board of directors... has decided to end its operation at Dewey Short Visitor Center... ORHF will continue to exist as a Foundation, and will redefine its mission and extent of future operations."
Before the nullification of the agreement, the Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation used part of the money it collected to help with capital improvements around Table Rock.
"The corps is no different than any other federal agency, in that we're on a reduced budget," Oller says referring to the responsibilities the Corps assume from the ORHF, and the $175,000 bill it will now foot, that was once funded by the ORHF’s services.
The Table Rock Manger also says in addition to stopping tours of the Dam, the Corps will also be limited on how much it can market the area attractions, "It's going to be significant, although Table Rock Lake is known if not regionally, it's know nationwide."
Oller says the Visitor Center will also reduce its hours of operations, opening at 10 a.m. instead of the normally 9 a.m. starting April 9.
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