Published Monthly at the Lake of the Ozarks
LAKE OF THE OZARKS
By Nancy Hogland
Those looking for an “out-of-this-world” flight experience might want to consider applying for a spot with Mars One. Founded by a Dutch entrepreneur, the not-for-profit organization plans to establish a human settlement on Mars by 2024. People interested in becoming astronauts on this one-way mission can apply online until August 31, 2013. Regional reviewers will select between 50 and 100 candidates for Round 2 in each of the 300 geographic regions of the world. Additional elimination rounds will take place with between 28 and 40 final candidates being selected to start a seven-year training program. The entire process will be aired as a reality TV show with an audience vote selecting the final group that will make up the Mars envoy. To apply, visit www.mars-one.com.
You can sing in the shower and sing in the rain but you can’t sing aboard American Airlines flights – at least not Whitney Houston songs. A passenger on a Los Angeles to New York flight was removed after she refused to stop belting out an off-key version of “I Will Always Love You.” A federal air marshal on board tried to subdue the woman, to no avail, and finally her and then escorted her off the flight – still singing – after the plane was diverted to Kansas City. And although the singing traveler was detained, she was not arrested. Authorities said the woman blamed a diabetic problem on her behavior. Despite warnings by flight attendants that pictures were not allowed to be taken on board, at least one passenger videotaped the performance, which can be seen on YouTube.
Snowbirds might be happy to learn that on November 5, United Airlines will add nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from its hub at Chicago O'Hare Airport. The airline will fly one daily round-trip flight until December 4 to Jan 5, when it will add a second daily flight to accommodate holiday travelers. United already offers flights to San Juan from Cleveland, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Newark Liberty and Washington Dulles. Last April, Southwest Airlines, based at Lambert St. Louis International, added San Juan, Puerto Rico to its route map.
Flights on United Airlines might be a little dreamier. The carrier put their Boeing 787 Dreamliners back in the air last month after fixing the problem with on-board lithium-ion batteries. In January, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the planes after separate incidents where batteries overheated in Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways jets. No incidents were reported on Delta flights.
While air traffic continues to climb at St. Louis, it’s falling off at the Kansas City International Airport, according to that airport’s Aviation Department. The airport saw a 7.8-percent decline in traffic from March 2012. Passenger boards were also down – 10.2 percent from the same month in 2012 and 10.8 percent overall. Air cargo was up, however, increasing by 5.8 percent in March and 7.1 percent year-to-date. A release from the marketing department said it was just a temporary dip and that they except traffic to rebound in the second half of 2013.
Travelers should expect to pay more in baggage and other fees this summer – and shouldn’t expect to see a decline any time in the near future. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. airlines took in more than $6 billion in fees last year – the highest amount since they began adding fees five years ago – and are responsible for at least some of those airlines operating at a profit for the first time in as many years. The 15 largest carriers collected a combined $3.5 billion for checked bags, overweight bags, oversized bags, early boarding and prime seat locations. Fees for changing reservations brought in another $2.6 billion. Delta Air Lines reportedly took in the most - $865.9 million, or $7.44 per passenger – on baggage fees. However, that airline also carried more passengers than any other airline. More price hikes have also been added. Four of the nation’s largest carriers - American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines and US Airways - all raised the fee for changing a domestic flight reservation from $150 to $200 and Southwest announced travelers who miss flights won’t be able to apply credit from that flight towards a later trip unless they cancel in advance.
People who obsess over every detail before stepping on to a plane might want to read “Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections,” which just hit the bookstores May 7. The book promises to separate fact from fallacy and tell travelers everything they need to know about how planes fly, turbulence, pilot training and safety, the cause of congestion and delays at airports, all about cabin air, seating, airline customer service and terrorism and security.
Safety to reign on Lake Ozark parades
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
St. Patrick’s Day revelers have no fear – Lake Ozark will continue to host the parade as it has in the past, albeit a few modifications.
Police Chief Mark Maples told aldermen at their May 21 meeting that those changes were needed to make the parade safer for everyone. They agreed with all but one.
Maples asked the aldermen if they would consider shortening the route by starting the parade at 242 and ending it at Bagnell Dam. He said the current parade route spread his staff too thin because officers were required to direct traffic at three different locations – at the intersection near the Shoppes at Eagles’ Landing, at the intersection of Business 54 and Route 242 and at W and Business 54.
“And I have to have another officer on to answer calls. We’re a 12-man department. I like parades – don’t get me wrong – my concern is staffing. The last St. Patty’s Day parade kept us tied up two and a half hours. If something would go wrong, I don’t know what we would do,” he said, adding that although he’s requested assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and both the Miller and Camden County Sheriffs’ offices, they seldom have been available.
However, several aldermen, as well as Jeff Carroll, a member of the Bagnell Dam Strip Association, which organizes the event, said it would be impossible to cram the 10,000 or so spectators who attended into that short of a space. Aldermen also said the business owners along the route that hosted St. Pat’s Day celebrations in conjunction with the parade would lose out on a lot of income.
Instead, Carroll agreed to limit the number of participants and also add a few restrictions – like adopting a theme and then requiring all entrants to decorate their vehicles according to that theme. He said this year several of the 150 vehicles participating had nothing more than signs on the door.
And while candy would still be okay, Maples suggested that in the future it would be passed out by people walking alongside their floats rather than thrown.
“We’ve had a couple kids almost get hit because they run out in front of floats to grab the candy and the drivers can’t see them,” he explained, adding that Camdenton also set that requirement for the Dogwood Festival parade.
Maples also said that drinking alcoholic beverages on floats – or handing Jello shots out to the crowd – would no longer be tolerated. Anyone caught would be banned from all future parades.
Carroll agreed and said this year he sent letters to all participants, asking them to “tone down” the party atmosphere and promised to do so again in the future.
“People need to recognize that the neighboring float could be full of children and families. I know its St. Patrick’s Day but people need to remember, this is a family event,” he said.
New book guides users thru maze of public works regulations, paperwork
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Contractors considering taking on any public works projects this summer might find it a little bit easier to comply with the law.
The state of Missouri just released the “Public Works Guidebook,” which provides information online for those interested in learning about the rules and regulations surrounding construction projects funded by taxpayer dollars.
The web-based book, put out by the Missouri Department of Labor (DOL), includes information on the laws that govern public works projects, the types of forms that must be filled out, hour and wage regulations, prevailing wage notifications, guidelines for firing workers, safety measures that must be taken, how to report payroll records and ADA guidelines. The guide also includes check-off lists – one for public bodies, one for contractors – for projects start to finish. The guide tells contractors what they are required to do to be compliant all the way from the time the contract is let to the time the work is completed and paid for.
According to the DOL, because public works projects are funded by tax dollars, those controlling and working them are held to a higher standard. Public works dollars benefit the local and state economies through increases in sales tax and corporate tax revenue, while at the same time ensuring that construction in Missouri remains a highly trained occupation capable of producing quality construction.
The DOL promises to diligently investigate any alleged prevailing wage violations.
“Any officer, official, member, agent or representative of any public body, contractor or subcontractor who willfully violates the prevailing wage law can be punished by a fine of up to $500, by imprisonment of up to six months, or both. It’s also important to remember that each day that a violation or omission continues constitutes a separate offense,” said Julie Gibson, acting director of the DOL.
Village of Four Seasons officials said when they added on to the building last year, even though wages paid were higher than what is considered “normal” at Lake of the Ozarks, they found it difficult to find contractors willing to bid on the projects because of the complexity of paperwork.
The new downloadable guide can be found at http://labor.mo.gov/PublicWorks/guidebook.asp.
President Obama wants to raise min. wage
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
In his state of the union address, President Barak Obama outlined his plan to call on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage for working Americans in stages to $9 an hour by 2015 and then index it to inflation thereafter. The federal minimum wage has stated at $7.25 since July 2009. The president also proposed raising the minimum wage for tipped workers, which has not been increased for more than years.
He said that since it was first established in 1938, the minimum wage has been increased 22 times, but was eroded substantially over several prolonged periods because of inflation. He said his proposal to raise the minimum wage by $1.75 by the end of 2015 would restore the “real value” of the minimum wage to what it was in 1981.
In order to gather information to help him with his push, throughout the month of May, he had acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris and other senior department officials on a “listening tour,” meeting with workers across the country in some two dozen cities to hear their stories and “engage them in a national dialogue.”
In a May 24 release, the Department of Labor reported that tour showed them that minimum wage left too many families struggling to make ends meet. A minimum-wage earner supporting a family of four resulted in that family living on $14,500 a year - below the poverty line.
However, Joe Roeger, head of the legislative committee for the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said minimum wage jobs were never intended for people who are heads of household.
“They’re for casual labor – summer help, student help,” he said, adding that he felt the likelihood of passage was “pretty remote” considering the current climate. “It doesn’t seem like a very wise measure, given the difficulty of people trying to find jobs right now. Raising the minimum wage will just make it harder for already cash-strapped businesses to expand. But even if it was adopted, it probably wouldn’t have much effect on the Lake area. Although $9 might grab some people, the wages paid here are already higher.”
On January 1, the minimum wage in Missouri, and 19 other states, increased to $7.35 – 10 cents higher than the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, employers engaged in retail or service businesses whose annual gross income is less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate. Employers not subject to the minimum wage law can pay employees wages of their choosing.
A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012, of the 1,538,000 Missouri hourly workers, approximately 3.1 percent, or about 47,678 workers, made less than minimum wage, and approximately 3.2 percent, or 49,216 workers, made exactly minimum wage.
Osage Beach formalizes NID, CID process
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The city of Osage Beach recently made it a little easier to build or expand projects in that city.
In May, aldermen adopted Community Improvement District (CID) and Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) acts. The policies, which discuss funding options, summarize the approval process, detail the petition process and provide guidelines for eligible activities, are designed to assist applicants in determining whether their projects qualify.
At a recent board of aldermen meeting, City Attorney Ed Rucker said because a CID was recently enacted by the city of Lake Ozark for the Shoppes at Eagles’ Landing, it might spur interest by other developers. That CID, requested by developer Gary Prewitt, will allow select stores in the mall to charge an additional 1-percent sales tax that Prewitt said will be used to pay down debt incurred in building the mall.
City Administrator Nancy Viselli said while Osage Beach has allowed use of the mechanisms in the past, they haven’t been highly publicized. She also said property owners might not be aware of the NID and what it would allow them to do. However, by adopting policy and then posting in on the city’s website, she said it will make it easier to determine if projects qualify.
According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED), a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) may be created in an area desiring certain public-use improvements that are paid for by special tax assessments only assessed those property owners in the area in which the improvements are made. The kinds of projects that can be financed through an NID must be for facilities used by the public, and must confer a benefit on property within the NID.
NIDs can typically fund such projects as street, sidewalk improvements; drainage, storm or sanitary sewer systems and connections; improvement or acquisition of streetlights; improvement of parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities; landscaping of public property; improvement of property for off-street parking and the acquisition of land needed to build or expand any of those projects.
A NID is created by election or petition of voters and/or property owners within the boundaries of the proposed district, but must be authorized by a resolution of the governing body of the municipality in which the proposed NID is located. The language contained in the petition narrative or ballot question must provide a full disclosure of the scope of the project, its cost, repayment and assessment parameters to affected property owners within the NID.
A CID, organized for the purpose of financing a wide range of public-use facilities, may be either a political subdivision or a not-for-profit corporation. To be approved, property owners owning at least 50 percent of the property within the proposed CID area must sign the petition requesting the CID.
The petition narrative must include a detailed five year plan, describing among other things, the purposes of the proposed district, the services it will provide, the improvements it will make and an estimate of the costs. There are specific rules that govern the CID.
A CID may finance new facilities or improvements to existing facilities that are for the use of the public including, but not limited to, convention centers, meeting facilities, shopping malls, murals, parks, landscaping, streetscapes, lighting, trash receptacles, lakes, dams and waterways, sidewalks, streets, storm water and sewer systems, parking lots and garages, and child care facilities. A CID can also provide public services including operating a parking facility and shuttle service, trash collection and providing for or contracting for security.
Both the NID and CID policies can be viewed online at www.osagebeach-mo.gov, or they’ll be available at city hall.
Judge rules against Ameren
Numerous adverse possession claims heading toward trial
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Although each lawsuit will have to be judged on its own merits, a May 15 ruling by Circuit Court Judge Kenneth M. Hayden could make it easier for property owners to be awarded title to homes that Ameren claims now belongs to the power company.
The decision came after a March court hearing in which attorneys representing Ameren Missouri argued that lawsuits against the power company should be dismissed without trial. Several plaintiffs filed adverse possession/quiet title lawsuits in Morgan and Camden counties after they – and approximately 1,500 others – were notified that all or a portion of their homes lie on property that Ameren has owned since the Bagnell Dam was built. Ameren’s attorneys argued that the homeowners should not be allowed to take their claims to trial, saying the 2006 change to the Missouri adverse possession statute exempted utilities from these types of claims.
In an eight-page order, Judge Hayden made it clear that he didn’t agree with the power company’s stance.
Judge Hayden summarized the history of the Missouri adverse possession statutes, first enacted by the Missouri Legislature in 1866. Ameren had argued that a 2006 amendment to the adverse possession statute was not intended to change the law, but instead just clarified what the Missouri Legislature originally intended.
The 2006 amendment resulted from a 2000 ruling against Empire District Electric in which a shoreline owner at Lake Taneycomo made an adverse possession claim against the power company. In that case, Empire District Electric argued that the adverse possession statute excepted “public uses” from adverse possession claims. Empire claimed that operation of the hydroelectric dam on Lake Taneycomo made all Empire property an excepted “public use.” The Missouri Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that property that was not used to generate hydroelectric power was not in a “public use.” Title by adverse possession was awarded to the plaintiff, who proved that she had acted as the owner of the property for more than 10 years, and that Empire had not acted as the owner.
Then in 2006, the Missouri Legislature amended the adverse possession statute to exempt utility owned property from adverse possession claims, regardless of whether or not the property was in a “public use.” Based upon that amendment, Ameren argued that the Lake of the Ozarks adverse possession claims must be dismissed because Ameren – a utility – had a deed to the property.
Judge Hayden disagreed, stating that the 2006 amendment affected the substantive rights of adverse possession plaintiffs and that the 2006 amendment can only apply prospectively to plaintiffs who had not been in adverse possession of Ameren property for 10 years prior to the 2006 amendment. Because the plaintiffs in the lawsuit stated that they had possession of Ameren property for far more than 10 years prior to 2006, Judge Hayden ruled that the cases can proceed.
According to Tim Sear, a Lake-area homeowner and Kansas City attorney who has studied the Ameren issues since 2007, a plaintiff need not, by themselves, have been in adverse possession of Ameren’s property for 10 years prior to 2006 to make a claim. The plaintiff can add the adverse possession time of their preceding owner – or owners – to their time, to reach the 10-year requirement.
“I think a lot of people have been sitting back, waiting to see how this is going to play out. It now seems clear that these cases are headed toward trial. But people need to understand that they can’t get title to the affected land if they don’t file an adverse possession lawsuit – and the only way to get title by adverse possession is to get a judge to enter a court judgment in their favor,” Sear said, adding that although several more adverse possession cases against Ameren have been filed since the beginning of 2013, all affected property owners should take their deeds and title insurance policies to an experienced real estate attorney to help them understand whether they have a valid claim against Ameren and/or their title insurance company. “If they do, their title insurance policy may cover the damages and/or the attorneys’ fees involved in filing suit against Ameren.”
The judge did rule in favor of Ameren and against the plaintiffs on one of the claims in the lawsuit that the language used in the 1932 deeds between Union Electric Land and Development Company and Union Electric Light and Power Company that started these title disputes was so broad and ambiguous that it constituted fee title. Judge Hayden rejected that argument, but pointed out that ruling does not affect the claims of adverse possession/boundary line acquiescence.
Last year Ameren got permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to comprehensively lower the Osage Project boundary to the 662 contour line plus carve out below 662 for existing dwellings. The FERC order made it clear that the lowering of the project boundary does not change the ownership of the property – if Ameren owned the property prior to the FERC Order – Ameren owns the property after the FERC Order. Soon after, Ameren filed Estoppel Certificates in the Camden, Miller, Morgan and Benton County Recorder of Deeds offices that grant limited rights to use the properties. Ameren says that the certificates are the promise that Ameren won’t take steps to remove existing structures located on the power company’s property. However, all realtors contacted agreed that selling property covered by an Estoppel Certificate is quite different than selling land that is owned, and title companies and lenders said the Estoppel Certificates don’t create a marketable title.
To read the court order in its entirety, visit www.lakebusjournal.com.
World’s fastest boats about to return to Lake
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
World-class racers will be roaring across the Lake of the Ozarks June 8 and 9 as they compete for their share of a $75,000 prize purse in the Lake of the Ozarks Invitational Powerboat Race.
The Offshore Super Series, sponsored by Mountain Dew and Formula Boats of Missouri, will feature 30 to 40 boats competing on a 4.5-mile oval course between Bagnell Dam and the 3 mile mark. A member of the American Power Boat Association sanctioned the event and the OSS is operating the race - setting the course, conducting all boat inspections, overseeing all safety measures and holding all driver meetings.
Spectators will be able to watch the race, headquartered on Lake Ozark’s Bagnell Dam Strip, from numerous points along the shoreline as well as from the road deck at each end of Bagnell Dam, which will be closed to traffic throughout the weekend. They also will be able to wander through the Racer Village and Vendor village, and get an up-close look at boats at “wet pits” and “dry pits.”
Organizers expect more than 10,000 spectators to visit the Bagnell Dam Strip during the event – likened to “one giant tail-gate party without the alcohol.” Lake Ozark will not be lifting its ban on open containers of alcohol for the event.
The best part is, except for a small fee for parking and the cost of food, drink and other items sold by vendors, the entire event is free.
Co-chairman Mike Shepherd, general manager at Beavers at the Dam Bar and Grill, said it was his goal from the start to make the race a community event that was affordable to everyone.
“At past races, people had to pay up to $65 to go down on the docks and see the boats. That meant a whole lot of people were left out. That won’t happen here. The public will be able to go down on the Beavers’ docks, where the boats will be parked, for free. We’re also happy that the location of the race will make it possible for everyone to watch from the shore – something else different from other races, where you had to be in a boat on the water to enjoy the action,” he said.
The Strip will be closed to traffic from about Ballenger Road down to the dam. Parking will be available at the campground below the dam and shuttles will be operating to provide transportation to and from the Strip. Lake Ozark Police Chief Mark Maples promised security would be tight – and coolers, backpacks and large bags will not be allowed into the area. Purses may be searched.
Play Craft Pontoons came on board as sponsor for the first time ever sanctioned Trophy Class Pontoon Race; Performance Boat Center will be providing prize money for the Super V Lite Race; the Red Head Yacht Club is sponsoring the Cat Outboard Race; and Shady Gators/Backwater Jacks will be providing prizes for the Pro/Am Race.
Festivities actually begin June 1 with a volunteer party. A Lake Race Pontoon Party at Lazy Gators, open to all boaters, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 and at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5 a Lake Race Tribute Party and Benefit Auction, which is open to the public, will be held at Topsider Entertainment Complex in Osage Beach. On Thursday, June 6 race teams will begin to arrive. On Friday, June 7, a Lake Race Street Party on the Bagnell Dam Strip, complete with a driver meet-and-greet, that is open to the public, will kick off at 6 p.m. Live music will continue from 8 p.m. to midnight at Beavers at the Dam.
Shepherd said the committee got overwhelming support for every portion of the weeklong event.
“It’s been pretty amazing to see how the community has gotten behind this to make it grow. We’re all looking forward to the event so we can enjoy the fruits of that labor,” he said.
For more information or for a complete schedule of race activities, which begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and wrap up at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with an awards ceremony at Beavers, visit the race website at www.lakerace.com.
EPA soon to start enforcing RRP rule for home remodelers, painters, electricians and the like
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), 87 percent of homes built before 1940 contain lead-based paint and 24 percent of homes built between 1960 and 1978 have some lead-based paint. Common renovation, repair, and painting activities– things like sanding, cutting, removing kitchen cabinets, replacing windows or HVAC repair or replacement – even drilling into wood or plaster – can “disturb” that paint and create hazardous lead dust and chips which, according to the EPA, can be harmful to adults and children.
To combat those dangers, as of April 2010, the EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule requires firms and individuals – including sole proprietorships – that perform that type of work in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 to be lead certified. The RRP rule covers a broad range of businesses including remodeling companies, carpenters, painters, electricians, plumbers and handymen.
The requirements extend to property management companies that act as agents for the landlord and use their own employees to do the work. If the property management company hires a renovation firm to perform the work, the property management company doesn’t need certification, but those they hire do – and they must also provide on-the-job training to any workers that are not certified renovators.
The EPA puts the burden of determining the age of the building solely on the person or company providing the work. Guidelines state that although the property owner is likely to be a good source of information on the age of a home or other building, the firm may not rely on the statement of the property owner if there is evidence to the contrary. In fact, renovation firms are told they must track down tax assessments, property records or any other paperwork to determine the date of construction. If nothing can be found, the renovation firm is told they must “always assume that a home or child-occupied facility was constructed before 1978.”
Not only must all employees who perform work in those facilities be trained as a lead-safe certified renovators, firms also must be EPA certified. Contractors must submit an application and a $300 payment to the EPA at www.epa.gov/getleadsafe, which is required to process all applications within 90 days of receipt. In most instances, properly-completed firm applications are processed in about one month. Once certified, the firm will be able to advertise that they are certified by EPA under the RRP program, and will also be given rights to use EPA’s “Lead-Safe Certified Firm” logo.
Individuals can become certified by completing a one-day training course in lead-safe work practices. Certification is immediate upon successful completion. The training courses are offered by EPA-approved private training providers; there is no additional fee. Training providers can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_training.htm. According to the EPA, more than 500 training firms have been accredited to provide the specialized, one-day lead-safe work practices training. Many offer trainings in multiple states. And the lack of training in the area is no excuse for not getting certified. According to the EPA, more than 340 accredited training providers have indicated they are willing to travel to offer the classes. That list can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_training.htm. One class provides certification for five years.
In addition to taking the training class, certified renovators must have with them at the work site copies of their initial course completion certificate and their most recent refresher course completion certificate. They are also required to provide records demonstrating the renovation was conducted in a manner compliant with EPA regulations and must retain those records for three years following completion of the project. The renovation firm must keep records showing what training was provided to workers, but these records need not be available at the work site.
For more information visit www.epa.gov/getleadsafe
Village to hold code meeting for builders
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
So everyone can be “on the same page,” the Village of Four Seasons will be hosting a meeting to discuss the 2012 International Residential Code that was adopted by the Village last July.
All general contractors, homeowners and interested members of the community are invited to attend the seminar, scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 19 at Village Hall. Those who plan to attend are asked to register by calling 573-365-3833.
“We made some changes and want everyone to know what they are. For instance, we eliminated the mandate for sprinklers – but we didn’t just arbitrarily yank them – we just found other ways to make the home safer and more fire resistant,” explained Robert Davis, chief building inspector for the Village. “We’re requiring a more fire-resistant sheet rock, more protection in the floor structures and hardwired smoke alarms throughout the entire house because our water system in the Village was designed to provide drinking water – not to operate sprinklers. We’re accomplishing the same goal – we’re just taking a different route to get there.”
He said they also took out some of the environmental requirements, including a pressure test that Davis described as “problematic.”
“Code required the home to be air tight enough to be pressurized for 15 minutes and hold to a specified amount of pressure. No one in the area has the equipment to conduct the test – and to bring in an engineer certified in this field would be very expensive. Truthfully, it would cost the homeowner much more to conduct this test than he or she would ever save on utility bills,” he said.
And although some portions of the 2012 code had been dropped, Davis said they would be keeping the requirement that all plans for new homes or remodel projects over $100,000 be drawn by a professional architect or engineer.
“We’ve had a couple issues in the past where plans were needed but we didn’t have them. But that’s why we want to hold this meeting. We want to go over all these details and changes with all the builders at once, if possible, because we want everyone to know up front what’s going to be required of them when they build in the Village,” Davis said.
The rest of the Lake community is in the process of reviewing and modifying the 2012 set of codes however, according to a representative of the Lake of the Ozarks Builders Association, no other community has adopted them yet. Village officials said they didn’t plan to adopt the codes so soon, but were forced to in order to keep their existing ISO rating.
“We were spot-checked last year by the ISO (Insurance Services Office) and they saw that we were still operating under the 2006 codes. Because you’re required to be current within five years of the most recent set of building codes, they gave us a short time to update or our ISO rating would have dropped – and that would have caused the cost of homeowners’ insurance to rise. That’s why we jumped on it so quickly,” Davis explained.
According to the www.isogov.com website, ISO partners with municipal fire authorities, city managers, and other community officials to evaluate and monitor more than 45,000 local fire-protection resources. ISO’s Building Code Effectiveness Classifications help distinguish the various levels of community building-code adoption and enforcement.
“The concept is simple,” the website reads. “Municipalities with effective, well-enforced codes should demonstrate better loss experience when a catastrophe strikes. Buildings located in such communities — constructed according to current codes — likewise should experience less severe loss. ISO collects information on the building codes in effect in a particular community, as well as how the community enforces its building codes. We then analyze the data using our Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) to determine the level of building-code enforcement. Insurers can use the gradings to determine property insurance values or grant premium credits for buildings constructed under strictly enforced codes.”
Lake Ozark reexamines open container law
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
There are a lot of “ifs” involved, but if all the details can be worked out, this year visitors may be allowed to view Shootout race boats on the Bagnell Dam Strip with a beer or mixed drink in hand. The Meet-n-Greet, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 21, invites racers to line their boats up on the street, which is closed to traffic, and meet with the public, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
Jeff Carroll, organizer of the event, asked the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen to consider establishing a giant beer garden that would stretch from Ballenger Road to the dam, and to lift the ban on open containers of “adult beverages” during the event, inside that fenced-off area, similar to what is done in Jefferson City.
This is the third year he’s asked the city to lift the ban. However, this year, instead of discussing the request at a regular meeting, city officials scheduled a May 20 work session and invited Keith Hendrickson, the senior liquor control agent with the state, to attend.
“This is not a big, out-of-control event,” Carroll told the board. “Most of the people who attend are families – a husband, wife and two kids. Dad walks around with a beer in his hand while they all look at the boats. And it’s on a Wednesday night in the middle of August. I know of two bar owners that say this is the busiest day of their entire year so the notion that this doesn’t generate a significant amount of money for our business owners is wrong.”
After several other arguments, both pro and con, City Attorney Roger Gibbons explained how other cities handled those types of festivals and suggested a list of criteria that he felt should be met before aldermen would grant Carroll’s request.
Gibbons said first and foremost, all bar owners of the Strip would have to agree to participate and meet all the city’s demands. If even one bar owner held out, he said the city should not move forward with Carroll’s request. He also said every bar owner would all have to obtain a caterer’s permit, which costs $25 - $15 for the city and $10 for the state; and they would have to provide a certificate of insurance, showing that they added the city as an additional insured. In addition, all bar owners would be required to sign a form agreeing to share equal responsibility if any violations occurred and any risk in the event anyone was injured. The bar owners would also have to agree to jointly pay the cost of bringing on additional police protection, over and above the normal scheduling, for the evening. And finally, all bar owners would have to agree to check IDs and issue event wristbands to everyone 21 and older, and to use only specially marked event cups for all alcoholic beverages sold.
Gibbons also said the beer garden area would have to be designated with a barrier and the organizer and bar owners would have to provide supervision at all gates to make sure no one left the area with open containers.
City officials also discussed their desire to ban coolers. However, that was met with some resistance.
“You have to understand the nature of these drivers. They’re all very wealthy. They travel around the United States with teams that set up and they just show up and drive. They bring coolers and they have refrigerators in the truck. Once they set, we’re not going to be able to kick them out just because they pop open a cold one,” Carroll said.
Hendrickson also told the board that while while organizers could suggest that coolers be kept out, because Missouri law allows it, bar owners could not prevent boat owners and crews – or spectators – from bringing coolers into the area as long as the liquor was less than what the bar owners were permitted to sell inside the beer garden.
City Administrator Dave Van Dee said while some bar owners may balk at the demands, because of past problems, the city would be “sticking to its guns.”
“We have a $25,000 or $50,000 deductible on our policy. If someone drinks too much, falls down and gets hurt you know the first thing they’re going to do is file a lawsuit against the city. That’s why we’re insisting that we be added as an additional insured. We want those insurance companies to be legally obligated to defend the city if we get sued,” he said.
Van Dee also questioned Carroll’s statement about the amount of income the event generated.
“I tracked the sales tax revenue over the past three years and didn’t see any spikes during the month this event is held,” he said.
Jefferson City hosts Thursday Night Live, a weekly event held downtown, that features live music, booths by sponsors and a variety of activities including car shows, cook-offs, and battle of the bands. The city’s ban on open containers of “adult” beverages is lifted during the event, inside the boundaries. For more information, visit this link to the event’s Facebook page:
Ron Dugan, chairman of the Shootout and owner of Captain Ron’s, headquarters for the race, first suggested the Meet-and-Greet in 2011 as a way to build interest in the race and to allow it to benefit numerous businesses around the entire Lake area.
“You can watch the race online and you can see pictures of the drivers, but when you can meet them, shake their hands, get your picture taken with them - it lets you make a connection and that makes it a lot more fun when you’re watching. It also lets the drivers and team members that attend meet the people that love what they do. It helps personalize the race for everyone,” he said. “These guys are great and they love to talk to people who love the sport. They especially like answering the kids’ questions - probably because most of them are family men themselves.”
Duggan said a similar event is held each year at the race in Key West and its wildly popular, drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators and building intense interest in the race.
Osage Beach board on the road again
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Osage Beach officials are hoping landowners will donate right-of-way to the city so they can afford to partner on a project to build a 2.75-mile-long two-lane, two-way outer road that would extend Osage Beach Parkway and hook it up with the existing service road running from Route Y to Lamar Advertising.
In May, Dave Silvester, district engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), told city officials the total cost of the outer road would depend on which of the two engineer’s designs was chosen. Under Option 1, which carries a price tag of just under $4 million, the road would run directly alongside the Expressway, which minimizes the amount of right-of-way that would be needed. However, that design would require expensive concrete barriers to be installed between the two roadways. Under Option 2, which will cost nearly $3.5 million, the outer road would cut off and follow the terrain, with some cut-and-fill modification. Silvester said that design would require more right-of-way but nearly eliminate the need for the barriers.
“It seems hard to imagine, but the cost of the right-of-way is less than the cost of those concrete barriers,” he told the board.
Under the proposal, MoDOT would cover one third of the project costs and another third would be paid through a transportation department cost share program, requiring the city to pay only one third. Silvester said if the city could get the needed land donated, the appraised value of the property would be deducted from the city’s share.
In an earlier interview, City Administrator Nancy Viselli said the Osage Beach Special Road District might also pay a portion of the city’s share, further reducing the cost.
The board asked City Engineer Nick Edelman to informally survey the landowners to determine how many would be willing to donate the needed land. Alderman Steve Kahrs said because of the benefits the property owners would reap, unless they all supported the project and agreed to the donations, he wouldn’t support the extension. However, Alderman Kevin Rucker said he didn’t their think lack of support should be a deal breaker.
He also asked the city engineer to also look into the cost of extending city services as part of the project, which includes relocating existing utilities.
Silvester said if the city voted to move forward with the project, MoDOT could get started next year. However, aldermen said before making a decision, they first wanted to sit down together at a workshop and discuss other road projects that needed to be done.
City officials have long been in support of the outer road. They said it would provide safer travel for the veterans who visit the VA clinic because they would no longer have to turn out directly on to the Expressway. At the meeting, Silvester said he thought the road might also boost traffic in that area of the city because drivers could continue traveling west instead of getting on the Expressway at KK. He also said development along the outer road would also generate additional traffic.
In April, the board voted unanimously to move forward with a reconstruction project that will remove much of the existing roadway between the 54 Expressway and the Osage Beach Parkway and then build an extended exit ramp from eastbound 54 Expressway to Key Largo; an on-ramp from Key Largo to eastbound 54; and a landscaped divider between the two – all at a cost of $84,096.50 to the city. MoDOT will be picking up the balance of the $396.402 job. Silvester said the job would be added to their list in September with a possible earliest letting of bids in November.
Revisions to the Key Largo intersection have been under discussion since April 2012 when a fatal crash prompted MoDOT to close the intersection to all traffic leaving Osage Beach Parkway.
Big Boys' Toys
What comes to mind when you think “Big Boys’ Toys”? Vehicles, jewelry, electronics—in order to be considered a toy, play must be involved. Of course the range of toys available to the boy is directly related to the depth of his pockets—the more cash, the more exotic the toys.
For most of us, these toys can seem rather utilitarian—cars, boats, stereos, televisions and those sorts of things. But for the ultra-wealthy male, the sky is truly the limit. So let’s gain some perspective on the upper end of the toys out there.
Topping the list has to be the “Azzam”—a 590 ft. motoryacht purchased by an unknown member of the royal family of the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Powered by water jets, this 94,000-hp ship is over one half the length of an aircraft carrier, but can hit 30 knots (34 mph). It would set you back a cool $600 Million.
Watches are also on the list, and the 21-function all-platinum IWC Grande Complication Perpetual gives boys with ridiculous amounts of discretionary cash something to do — for $240,000.
What about cars? Certainly counted among the world’s most lusted-after automobiles is the Ferrari. Their $260K Ferrari 458 Spider is the epitome of Italian automobile muscle—fitted out in lipstick red with a 562-hp, 4.5-liter V8, it screams “Toy”!
For the rest of the world (roughly 97 percent) these things are out of reach— so what are some more commonly sought after toys for the boys? The same categories exist, just on a more —affordable scale.
At the Lake of the Ozarks, the toys are plentiful, as well-to-do families from all over call the Lake their second home. And, the boats are King. They come in all sizes from aluminum fishing skiffs to multi-million dollar yachts approaching 100 feet in length. Big trucks are also on the list. Exotic and fast cars—certainly quite a few brands would qualify here, for the moderately-expensive “toy” car. Wristwatches for the less-than-princely affluent can include brands like Tag Heuer, Rolex and Breitling.
Motorcycles are also currently very hot, and none more so than the Harley Davidson. There are also upscale home electronics like home theaters and entertainment rooms. But where does affluent begin?
According to the 2012 US Census data for Camden County, the average household income for the previous five years was just $47,000-- certainly not ‘affluent’. And while there is no exact data on the household income of those purchasing second homes at the Lake, or those vacationing in the area, we can use the $677 million in retail sales in 2007 as a benchmark. Overall, the Lake’s purchasing is in line with nearby areas. Cole County (Jefferson City) saw 1.2 billion, Morgan County $191 million, and Pettis County (Sedalia) $547 million in comparison. It’s the permanent population that is the key, with the top spots having significantly higher populations. So those shopping here do spend more each.
The affluent that come to play and live at the Lake spend their days and dollars enjoying it. But according to market information, the affluent ($100K/annually or more) spend more time researching their purchases beforehand. These buyers in the survey were 40% more likely to make luxury purchases and spent 80% more than average when buying. They sought value for their money. While they were not afraid to spend more for the things they wanted, price was a factor in their purchasing decisions. Everyone we spoke to locally for this article reflected that fact. Buyers of high-end products are being more ‘careful’ with their spending and taking additional time to shop and research their purchases.
A recent survey by Unity Marketing found affluent shoppers in search of value frequenting businesses like Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart and Costco-- right alongside everyone else. These shoppers according to the survery are classifying major purchases as “investments” -- but not ones to profit from. Rather these purchases are an investment in their lifestyle that have to deliver a meaningful return-- with criteria like comfort, superior performance and durability as factors. They judge expense versus return on lifestyle, and they are perfectly willing to ‘step-down’ to cheaper yet still acceptable alternatives.
Local sentiment followed this as well, with businesses noticing a shift in spending to more moderate models in favor of savings and utility.
The survey also found these buyers to be more brand conscious, with repeat purchases above the norm. Here again, local sentiment echoed the results, with businesses enjoying repeat purchases from previous clients.
Analysts say that with the economic improvement currently taking place, the affluent are ready to buy. They are ‘tired of feeling bad about their money’. They are more independent following the crisis, and feel immune to the brand hype. They have re-prioritized the things that they take pleasure in.
With these buyers headed to the showrooms, we can’t help but wonder what classifies as a “toy” for the rest of the market segment. Those with incomes of $50-100K annually-- what are they buying?
Not surprisingly, with a greater percentage of their income going for the basic necessities like food, shelter and transportation-- the middle ground here is seeing the largest shift.
Even moreso these buyers are waiting and researching before they spend. And when they do shop, price and value are foremost.
Locally, this is reflected accutely in the boating market, where retailers are seeing more traffic in pontoon boats and less in mid-size craft of other types.
These buyers want more use for their purchases and less maintenance time and cost. They want to spend the idle time they do have enjoying the purchase, not taking care of it.
What are some of the ‘toys’ this segment of the economy is buying? Cars and trucks lead the way, but not just fast and red.
These buyers are moving toward economy and usage according to those we spoke with.
Fuel economy is a big factor, with the models getting the highest MPG the best-sellers.
Buyers looking for more value are shifting toward transportation that is not only stylish, but affordable and that can be used for more than one purpose.
Trucks that can carry them to and from work with the tools and materials they need top this portion, as these owners then ‘clean them up’ for a night out.
Far from basic however, these pickup trucks are loaded with luxury-- that’s where the ‘toy’ enters the equation.
On the opposite end, for the younger buyer, the truck that can handle the off-road and still get them to work in comfort is the best-seller. These trucks are truly ‘play’ for this crowd.
Home electronics-- the middle of the market is splurging on the current glut of upscale flat-screens that have pushed prices to unheard of lows. Televisions for less than $1500 can be nearly 5 feet measured diagonally. DVD and Blu-Ray players have bottomed out and almost all have internet connectivity for the young, web-savvy crowd buying them.
Game consoles like the new WiiU and upcoming XBox are instant best-sellers, and the iPad from Apple dominates computers/tablets currently.
We spoke with Tyler Sanders, Sales Manager for All About Boats- Tyler’s views reflect those of the other marine retailers we visited with almost exactly.
All About Boats is on Osage Beach Parkway, and they carry Crest, Misty Harbor, Crownline and Monterrey brands.
“I think a toy is a boat ranging from 25’ and up. It can be single or twin engine.
We saw our boat market change, and pontoons are big now. I think the bigger twin-engine pontoons are what people are driving towards, they can put more people on them, there is less maintenance, they are more fuel efficient, and they have the speed of a runabout now.
If you look at pontoons, they are evolving. The furniture and amenities are nicer. They have upgrades like high-end dashes with LCD screens and it’s all automated-- some with in-dash touchscreens.
Pontoons are also holding their value like they never have before.”
The pontoons we looked at feature things like leather upholstery, covers, heads and other ammenties.
So what does Tyler see for the Lake this summer-- or even next year?
He said, “Everything has a cycle here at the Lake-- I don’t know what’s in store for next year. But I do see that people are doing more ‘family’ boating. They want to spend time with friends and family, and you can’t get as many in a smaller boat. The baby boomers are retiring, and they want to have a safe boat for their grandkids. It’s a pontoon/bowrider market here now.”
Cars and trucks reflect similar trends, we found. We talked with Tom Stegeman, General Manager for Joe Machens-- a retailer of high-end brands like BMW and Mercedes has also seen a shift in the way the average buyer is spending their money.
“You think about toys, you think about the Mustang. Kind of natural. But we see more people going for the loaded-up trucks, you know the high-end F250’s. Navigation, moon roof, running boards.
A car like a Mustang can only do one thing. But if you get a high-end truck, you can still work out of it. With the way that everything is going, yes, you need something that you really like, but you have to be able to use it also.
If you look at some of these big trucks, you have heated leather seats, navigation, pretty classy.
Pickup trucks like these are suitable for a date on Friday night at an expensive restaurant, and yet can still go “mudding” on Sunday and wash up for work on Monday.”
Tom said that while the trucks and Mustangs are toys and good sellers, the sales volume is toward the Ford Focus, a car that gets good fuel economy. This is not something you would ordinarily consider a toy, but it does align with the trend in buying we have seen-- more utility and functionality, en emphasis on value for the money.
Not all toys come on four wheels, however. Lots and lots of middle-age buyers (a majority) are opting for two.
The motorcycle has been a staple Big Boy’s Toy since the biker craze began in movies and television.
Harley Davidson, the big American brand most people think of when thinking of a big bike is enjoying a renaissance of late.
Here at the Lake, nobody knows Harleys like Jack Fleming. He opened his doors in 1997, and added the Lake location just south of Hwy. KK in 2005. The store has a wide selection of the iconic ‘Easy Rider’ and the accessories and clothing to go with them.
Mike showed us one of the most prevalent toys for the boys on the Lake-- a big Bowrider. More popular than ever, these more-affordable alternatives to the big cruisers have been making waves. We talked with Kyle Kelly, at Kelly’s Port Marina.
“It seems because of the economy many boaters have realigned the direction they are going,” he said.
“The money is still there, people are still spending it, they are still enjoying time on the water. But they are more conscious of how they are spending it. Instead of going and putting down big money on a 50 foot boat, we’re seeing more traffic in the high-end tri-toon pontoons, and the big bowriders. They’re trying to accommodate as many people as they can. They have their kids and grand kids with them when they go out. They’re not necessarily buying things they don’t need. They’re spending less and accomplishing essentially the same thing. And they’re saving on fuel, maintenance and seasonal costs.” Kelly’s Port Marina is on Highway 54 in Lake Ozark, with an on-water location on Dude Ranch Road in Osage Beach.
Dale Lear showed us a top-of-the-line Ford F-150, favorite toy among the boys when it comes to trucks. Big boys like these trucks as they serve many roles, for work and play. Off-roading on the weekends, working and hauling days and yet they clean up nice for a night-out-- these high-end haulers come with options like leather upholstery, GPS navigation, seating for five, climate control and premium sound. A classy toy to be sure. Even though Dale thinks “Shelby Mustang” when considering toys, his customers want economy-- the Fusion tops his sales list. For the others, it’s of course the multi-role F-150 pickup. Dale Lear is the General Manager at Sakelaris Ford in Camdenton.
Toys come in different shapes and sizes. At the Lake, if it’s on the water or in the woods, it’s fun. Surdyke Sports has been selling bikes, watercraft, ATVs, and other things that go “vrooom!” at the Lake for better than 40 years. Greg Surdyke has also seen a shift away from the high-ticket items, and buyers being more conscious of the value they get for their dollar. But no matter what Greg sells, you can give it the label ‘toy’.
Surdyke Motor Sports has recently added the Four Winns line of boats-- and currently has several of the most popular bowriders on his lot for instant summer fun. Greg Surdyke is the owner of Surdyke Sports, on Osage Beach Parkway in Osage Beach.
Sexy. Sleek. Fast. Just the sort of thing a Big Boy needs in a toy. Tim Seebold knows Toys like nobody else. He does it for a living.
“If it has a motor on it, you can have fun with it. Things have changed-- people are a little more cautious, as they should be. They are more knowledgeable about what they want. Everybody has a different use for them, even though they are all toys. We’ve got seven different brands here-- there’s so much to choose from-- we can find the toy that’s right. ‘Big Boys Toys’ is going to mean something different for everybody. “
Seebold Sports is the area’s exclusive Ducati dealer. The Italian brand is among the best-known high-performance motorcycle names worldwide. Their distinctive look and sound make them a favorite toy for boys who like to go fast, fast, fast.
Tim agrees. “Ducati is such a unique bike, a unique manufacturer. It’s the number one photographed bike in the world. It’s the Ferrari of motorcycles. It’s an experience-- like the Diavel, a muscle cruiser, it’s very popular here.” Tim Seebold is the owner of Seebold Sports, on Osage Beach Parkway in Osage Beach.
Glimpses of the Lake's Past
with Dwight Weaver
The cultural history of Onyx Cave includes an episode of mining that occurred in 1897 when speculative onyx mining was occurring widely throughout Camden County. In that year John Bradford carved huge chunks of onyx from a large formation known as the “Liberty Bell” in a chamber about 350 feet inside Onyx Cave. The ugly scar from this ordeal still exists and the tracks used by ore carts still exist in the corridor leading to the Liberty Bell.
About 190 feet from the entrance the cave ceiling lowers and the remainder of the cave is inaccessible today because Lake-water fills passages that have low ceilings. The true length of the cave is unknown but local legend says that in 1909 Garrett Laughlin, a county road supervisor, and companions explored the cave. They were underground for many hours and returned to report the cave was large and extensive.
In 1965, before the construction of Truman Dam and an occasion when Lake of the Ozarks was below 654 feet, members of Lake Ozarks Grotto were successful in damming the entrance stream course to keep Lake water out and then pumping the cave stream down low enough to allow the cave to be mapped for a distance of about 500 feet. The author participated in this research project.
Technology and Lifestyles
JVC Procison GC-PX100
If you’re in the market for a digital SLR or a high-definition camcorder, this may be the whiz-bang get-them-both product for you. A 12.8 MP CMOS sensor combined with a 10x optical zoon on an F1.2 lens means you get a big bright zoom lens with full HD performance and high-quality still photos. Built in light, flash and hot shoe for connecting accessories. Optical image stabilization, external microphone, audio and headphone connections, external power connection for tripod use, and a 460K three inch LCD with a hood. The camera can shoot video at 36 megabits per second, including up to 120 frames per second for slow motion. About $1,000 MSRP.
Cobra iRadar: As if there aren’t enough gadgets to connect and interface with your smartphone—the iRadar from Cobra connects to your smartphone wirelessly through Bluetooth. The phone becomes the screen for this tiny detector (about the size of a deck of cards). The display shows your current speed, as well as the locations of radar units as much as 7 miles away. The improved iRAD 105 is much improved over the previous versions according to users. $130.
Waring Snow Cone Maker
With summertime fun in store for the family, what could be more timely than a snow cone maker? This countertop unit includes four slots to hold the cones, and stainless steel blades built for years of heavy duty. It shaves enough ice to make four cones in under a minute. The boxed kit comes with paper cones, an ice scoop and recipes to make your own syrups at home. Retails for about $70 in stores and online.
Business Journal Socials
#1- L to R. Dayna Viele, Christy Fera, Debbie Oharo, Vicky Denny. American Family Insurance.
#2- L to R. Adam Mills, Tami Brown, Mitchell Mills. Mills Insurance.
#3- L to R. Sharon
& Bob Haupt. B&S Management
#4- L to R. Greg Sullens, Benne Media, Randy Kelly, Kelly’s Port, Jeff Karr, Benne Media
Photos from the May 9th Business Journal Social at Bootlegger’s. Sponsor Christy Fera, American Family Insurance. Photos by: Rita Rose Event Photography.
This month’s (June) event is June 13th at Lil’ Rizzo’s, sponsored by First State Bank Mortgage. See you there!