Published Monthly at the Lake of the Ozarks
LAKE OF THE OZARKS
New waterfront resort convention center. Expected to kick-start economy
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The Camden County Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding that will further development of a major new waterfront resort and convention center near Osage Beach. The project is being overseen by Senate Hospitality, a Nashville development, management and consulting firm.
Camden County Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said he hasn’t seen all the final details, the project. Located on a 37-acre tract near the intersection of KK and Business 54 and just south of Tan-Tar-A Resort and the St. Moritz Condominiums, it will provide a much-needed boost for the economy. According to a press release provided by the developer, the 250-room resort will feature restaurants, convention space, entertainment, a full- service marina, rentals, community facilities and more. It’s proposed to bear the name of a major 4-star hotel flag upon completion of certain parts of the development process.
The property has the proper zoning for the hotel and convention center project. Hasty said the developer wanted assurances that the county would give consideration to Community Improvement District (CID) and Transportation Development District (TDD), as well as a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan, should the developer decide to go that route.
“I have concerns about TIFs in general but we’re in competition with the rest of the world and there are some areas that are offering substantial tax advantages that we have to compete against. We’ll have to look at this very carefully, but we have to get our economy breathing again. That’s so very important. And activity creates activity,” Hasty said, adding that he’d really like to see growth stirring west of the Grand Glaize Bridge.
“Any time you have activity going on and you have water, sewer, electric and roads in place, the ground suddenly becomes more valuable but it also makes a project much more desirable looking, particularly when you have something like the Arrowhead Development nearby. These projects really have the potential to boost our Lake economy and get us rolling again. Bottom line – they mean a lot of growth and a lot of jobs, which is critical.”
Both First District Commissioner Beverly Thomas and Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber have said they are in favor of the project.
“We want to see quality, organized growth in Camden County, and this is a great opportunity to voice our support for a project that meets that criteria,” Thomas said.
Senate CEO Dave Jones says cooperation with Camden County is key to development of the project.
“We wanted to know that county leaders would support our idea and work with us for the benefit of the entire community,” Jones said. Other Senate projects include such well-known developments as the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, the Westin Hotel on Beale Street in Memphis and the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Dallas.
The economic development tools under consideration
A CID may be either a political subdivision or a not-for-profit corporation. CID’s are organized for the purpose of financing a wide range of public-use facilities and establishing and managing policies and public services relative to the needs of the district. A CID may finance new facilities or improvements to existing facilities that are for the use of the public including such things as convention centers, meeting facilities, parks, streetscapes, sidewalks, lighting, water, storm and sewer systems, parking lots and child care facilities. A CID may also provide a variety of public services, some of which may include operating shuttle bus services, providing trash collection or providing for security.
A TDD may be created to act as the entity responsible for developing, improving, maintaining, or operating one or more “projects” relative to the transportation needs of the area in which the District is located. A TDD may be created by request petition filed in the circuit court of any county partially or totally within the proposed district. There are specific rules that provide filing procedures and content requirements of TDD creating petitions. Projects may include any street, highway, road, interchange, intersection, bridge, traffic signal light or signage; bus stop, terminal, station, wharf, dock, rest area or shelter; airport, river, or lake port, railroad, light rail or other mass transit and any similar or related improvement or infrastructure. Funding of TDD projects may be accomplished through the creation of district-wide property or sales taxes which requires the approval of the voters in the district by vote or by petition; by special assessments on all or part of the properties in the district based on their relative benefit; or by issuing bonds, notes, and other obligations in accordance with the authority granted to the entity for such issuance.
A TIF permits the use of a portion of local property and sales taxes to assist funding the redevelopment of certain designated areas within the community. Areas eligible for a local TIF must contain property classified as a blighted, conservation or that’s designated as an economic development area. TIF may be used to pay certain costs incurred with a redevelopment project including, but are not limited to professional services such as studies, surveys, plans, financial management, legal counsel; land acquisition and demolition of structures; and building necessary new infrastructure in the project area such as streets, sewers, parking, lighting and relocation of resident and business occupants located in the project area. The idea behind local TIF is the assumption that property and/or local sales taxes will increase in the designated area after redevelopment, and a portion of the increase of these taxes collected in the future (up to 23 years) may be allocated to help pay certain project costs.
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
This Delta flight crew knows how to keep their passengers happy! When a May 26 flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta was diverted to Knoxville, Tennessee because of storms, the pilot ordered pizza to be delivered to the plane for the passengers. Airline officials reportedly were impressed with the crew’s solution and most travelers, who arrived at their destination three hours late, were appeased.
Those planning to fly in or out of New York might want to take along their own pizza – and a good book or two. A study recently conducted by Global Gateway Alliance shows the city’s three major airports rank the worst in the nation for the percentage of flights delayed on the tarmac both at takeoff and landing. According to that study, an approximate 660,000 travelers experienced delays of between one and five hours at LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports in 2014.
Those traveling in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport might also experience a wait. According to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nearly 28 percent of all departures and 26 percent of all arrivals were delayed from October 2013 to March 2015 – a 6-percent increase over the previous five years. That jump was double the national increase. Data also showed that flights out of O’Hare arrived on schedule at their destinations less than 68 percent of the time during 2014, their worst delivery out of the last seven years. The delays were blamed on a multitude of issues including lack of gates to handle the flights, bad weather and air traffic facility issues. Airport officials had hoped a new runway, completed nearly a year and a half ago, would cut delays in half and improve the bottlenecks the airport had been experiencing. The windy city is not the only airport seeking answers to congestion-causing delays. Atlanta is also adding runways to meet the rising demands.
If airport delays don’t concern you – what about security breaches? The latest round of undercover tests by investigators found that mock explosives, weapons and other prohibited items were not detected in 67 out of 70 tries at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. Apparently this is nothing new. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the TSA agents have been missing smuggled – and prohibited – items regularly since 2002. Although details remain classified, an audit showed that components for bombs and other devices were able to be smuggled in both carry-on luggage and on people. In addition, the TSA PreCheck program, which allows pre-approved travelers to avoid some of the security check-ins, allowed a convicted felon and member of a domestic terrorist organization to use the expedited airport screening lane. In the meantime, acting TSA administrator, Melvin Carraway, was assigned to a different job within the department.
Those who fly Scandinavian carrier SAS might feel a little safer knowing that the airlines adopted new guidelines restrict passengers to three alcoholic beverages. Although they were unwilling to release details, officials with the airline reportedly said they made the move in hopes of cracking down on problems caused by unruly fliers. SAS isn’t the only airline to curb alcohol consumption. Ryanair, a discount carrier, banned booze of any kind on fights between Glasgow, Scotland, and the Spanish party resort of Ibiza and Jet2, which also offers discounted fares, allegedly issued lifetime bans to two passengers who created disturbances on its flights this spring. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the world’s biggest airlines, is calling for across-the-board measures designed to reduce the number of incidents caused by tipsy travelers. According to that agency, from 2010 thru 2013, 20,000 unruly passenger incidents had been reported by member airlines.
Marriott International Inc. could be helping calm unruly children staying at its hotels. They are now offering in-room guest access to Netflix at six of their hotels, with plans to expand the service to more facilities this summer. Guests can either sign into existing accounts through a special app on the televisions, which will be connected to the Internet, or they can sign up for a new subscription. Marriott said they plan to offer Netflix at 100 hotels by the end of 2015 and to nearly all of its more than 300 properties by the end of 2016.
In collaboration with airlines and airplane manufacturers, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is proposing adoption of a standard size for cabin carry-on luggage that would bear a “Cabin OK” label. IATA officials said if they “caught on,” it would reduce confusion for travelers who aren’t sure what size carrying case to use – and eliminate the problem of oversized bags. They are recommending a standard of 21.5 by 13.5 by7.5 inches. The airline association official said they felt the standardized size would lead to “an improved passenger experience.” Several major brand luggage manufacturers have already jumped on board with the idea. The new bags are expected to be available later this year.
It might be less expensive to buy the new cabin-approved luggage than to pay to check over-sized suitcases. According to data provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, during the first three months of this year, domestic airlines collected a record number of fees from passengers who checked bags or made changes to their reservations. According to information collected, the first quarter revenues for those fees was $1.6 billion, which is a 7.4-percent increase over the same period last year. Airlines might be taking heat for the charges but they’re probably don’t care all that much because the charges, coupled with falling jet fuel prices, allowed those airlines to see $3.1 billion in profits during the same time period.
Lazy Gators lawsuits not over for Camden County
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
A group of neighbors hired attorney Michael G. Berry to file a lawsuit against Camden County in an attempt to overturn the Camden County commissioners’ decision to rezone the 1.3-acre parcel that houses Lazy Gators. The plaintiffs named are Larry A and Patricia E. Vincent; Mark Abel; Linda Bailey; William W. Jr. and Betty Cook; Rick Hinzpeter; Charles A. and Janet A. Karlin; Allen and Lee King; Dan Lynn; and Edward F. and Connie L. Matecki, who, according to the suit, own residential property that is either adjoining, confronting or near to Lazy Gators.
Camden County Commission Greg Hasty said although he hadn’t yet had time to discuss the suit with the county’s attorney, he was disheartened to see it.
“I was hoping this was settled and we could move forward,” he said. “Apparently not.”
The suit, filed June 18, challenges a rezoning decision by Camden County.
According to Count I of the suit, on May 21, 2015 the commission voted 2 in favor and 1 against to rezone the land from R-1, which is for low-density housing consisting primarily of single family homes, to B-2, for general commercial purposes and then amended the Camden County Zoning map accordingly. The suit alleges the decision was made pursuant to an unsigned application for rezoning filed by Prewitt and dated February 9, 2015.
The suit states the plaintiffs are aggrieved by the rezoning and what they described the “unlawful uses of the parcel. It also states that the uses which they intend to make of the property under the new zoning will directly impact the plaintiffs in the use and enjoyment of their property. “The plaintiffs are impacted adversely by the creation of more noise, congestion, car lights, parking problems, traffic, intoxicated drivers, general crime against persons and property, decline in livability in the neighborhood, and the corresponding adverse impact on the values of their residential properties, all caused by these defendants’ business operations on the parcel and by patrons of these defendants using the parcel.”
The suit also states the validity of the purported rezoning is ripe for appeal in that the rezoning purports in all respects to be a final decision by the Camden County Commission.
After listing a lengthy history of the property, which includes statements that the report of the county’s code administrator did not recommend passing either the third rezoning application or the CUP application, which it subsequently granted, the order granting the CUP application is presently on appeal to the Camden County Board of Adjustment, the suit goes on to list grounds for vacating the rezoning:
The code lacks any standards of guidelines with Article 1400 relating to code and zoning map amendments by which to establish the substantive grounds for a rezoning decision
There was no evidence that the rezoning was for the public good
The rezoning was purely for the private good of Prewitt, Glacier Park and Shady
The rezoning was arbitrary, capricious, inconsistent and unreasonable in that it bears no substantial relationship to the public health, safety, morals or welfare
The unreasonableness of the rezoning is not fairly debatable
Any public benefit of the rezoning “(of which there is none)” so that private defendants could convert the parcel from low density residential uses into an outdoor entertainment venue with outdoor music is outweighed by the negative impact the decision and resulting use will have on the use and enjoyment of the property of plaintiffs and on the value of the plaintiffs’ property
The rezoning amounts to unlawful spot zoning
There is no evidence to rebut the presumption that the existing zoning designation, R1, is the reasonable zoning for the parcel, nor is there any evidence that this zoning designation is unreasonable. Rezoning the parcel after years of the parcel being used in violation of the code is zoning after the fact, inconsistent and undermines the authority of the county commission to enforce the code and planning and zoning decision of Camden County in the future.
Count II states a justiciable controversy over the purported rezoning of the parcel exists and requires interpretation by the court in that the defendants position is that the parcel was lawfully and validly rezoning and that they may lawfully operate Lazy Gators as an outdoor entertainment venue under that zoning designation, subject to the CUP, which is under appeal. The plaintiffs contend that the rezoning was invalid and illegal for the reasons set out in County I and Lazy Gators is operating illegally.
The suit asks that attorney’s fees be awarded in a declaratory judgment and that the judgment rule that the venue cannot operate except as authorized under the R-1 zoning designation.
Count III seeks an injunction prohibiting and adjoining Camden County from upholding the May 21, 2014 rezoning and prohibiting and enjoining defendants Prewitt, Shady and Glacier Park from engaging in any commercial activities thereon except as allowed on property zoned R-1 under the code.
In the meantime, as per his agreement with Camden County, Prewitt installed sound abatement panels behind existing speakers. A member of his crew said they quieted the music so much that they are thinking of adding more speakers to allow those at the volleyball court to enjoy the tunes. He also installed bright lights along Sweet William Road, which leads to Shady and Lazy Gators, and is in the process of working with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office to reconfigure the entrance to the street to allow a turn-around for shuttle busses. According to a sheriff’s office spokesman, when the parking spaces at the bottom of Sweet William are full, it causes a back-up that affects traffic on Bittersweet.
Previously, the land, located in 7 Mile Cove and off Bittersweet at the end of Horseshoe Bend, was zoned R-1 low density residential. On May 21, the day before the kick-off of Memorial Day weekend, Camden County Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty and Associate Commissioner Cliff Luber voted to approve the request to rezone the property to B-2 general commercial. Associate Commissioner Beverly Thomas voted against the proposal.
The consent brought with it a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), which will allow Prewitt to add a stage and outdoor music. Until Thursday, Prewitt, who had been trying to get the rezoning since 2007, had been operating the venue as a private party under a caterer’s license.
The CUP required Prewitt to provide Camden County Planning Administrator Kim Willey with a contract from a sound abatement company and then put the systems in place within 45 days of approval. The day after the commission’s decision, Prewitt was installing sound-proofing around existing speakers. Planting of mature trees and other landscaping will come later when a stage, restrooms and other amenities are constructed. In addition, in return for the rezoning, Prewitt also agreed to limit the waterfront venue’s hours of operation to from noon to 11 p.m. on weekdays, from noon to midnight Friday through Sunday, and from noon to 1 a.m. on holiday weekends. He also promised to work with the county on all future development at the site, which currently includes tiki bars, cabanas, a volleyball court and a swimming pool.
Enjoy an evening under – and in front of – the stars
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The sky, literally, is the limit on what the future holds for the Ozarks Amphitheater.
The venue, formerly known as Stoneridge Ampitheater, was purchased at auction two years ago by Bill Carle and Robert Mein. The first year was spent making improvements and bringing the amphitheater back to life. The parking lots were graded, the infrastructure was improved, the concession stand was redesigned and the menu was expanded, landscaping was added and the facility was renovated to give it that “wow factor.”
“It is really beautiful and just as important, it’s state-of-the-art. We have a 100-foot stage that’s 50 feet deep, the dressing rooms upstairs are so large, they can accommodate theater groups and the acoustics are phenomenal. I truly envision attracting not just national but international groups. We’ve been blessed with an amazing amphitheater and it has such great potential not only for us, but for the community because of what we’re looking at bringing in here in coming years,” said Mary Kay von Brendel, the public relations and marketing manager at Ozarks Amphitheater.
She said this year, they’re going across the board with genres to “test the waters” and see what draws the biggest crowds.
The amphitheater’s grand opening on June 18 featured Sena Ehrhardt, described as “one of the freshest and most dynamic emerging young voices on the blues scene today.” Some 500 people attended the kick-off event. The season officially opens Friday, July 3 with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and special guests Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu.
“Then on July 5 we have the Kentucky Headhunters with special guests Confederate Railroad and Carolyn Wonderland. We’re also bringing in the Guess Who on July 17. We’ve got Tracy Lawrence coming August 1, we’re going back to the 80s August 21 with Dokken, Warrant and FireHouse, and then we’re adding a little bit of a twist with our final show of the season featuring Molly Hatchet,” von Brendel said, adding that the line-up also includes several tribute bands including Think Floyd, dubbed the “best Pink Floyd tribute anywhere” by Full Throttle Magazine; the Music of ABBA; the Grateful Dead Experience; and Get the Led Out, which presents a two hour-plus set each night that spans the career of the legendary British super group Led Zeppelin.
The full line-up is included on the website, www.ozarkampitheater.com, where concert tickets can be purchased.
Von Brendel said they also hope to bring Christian music concerts back to the venue. For more than a decade, Stoneridge hosted three-day Christian concerts that brought some of the most famous artists of contemporary Christian music including the Newsboys, Avalon, Michael W. Smith, Skillet, Matthew West and Big Daddy Weave.
“We’ve had a lot of requests to bring back the Crossover Music Festival. We won’t be doing the exact same thing but we’d like to do something similar. We’re also looking at bringing theater groups and even offering movie nights. We thought about doing that this year but we just had too many other things going on,” she said.
The Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, where Bill Carle ran concessions for many years, offers similar entertainment. Throughout the summer, guests go to enjoy cult-classic films that are preceded by a live concert and comedian.
The expertise of Robert Mein, who owned a catering company in Colorado, will allow guests at the Ozarks Amphitheater to also enjoy a new treat on the traditional concessions menu – pulled pork and brisket sandwiches that feature an exotic blend of flavors unique to the area. In addition, a partnership with Ozarks Distillery provided a signature drink that’s unique to the venue.
“It’s a blackberry lemonade that we have named ‘Rain or Shine.’ And next year, they’re going to be brewing a moonshine just for the Ozarks Amphitheater,” von Brendel said, adding that, for an extra-special treat, the fare can be enjoyed at four-top VIP tables on the balcony with its own dedicated wait staff. “It offers a very unique experience for concert-going. We have a fun summer scheduled!”
Von Brendel said they decided to start small with this year’s “Best Summer Ever” concert series. The amphitheater, located on Highway 5 north of Camdenton, offers 10,000 dedicated seats as well as lawn seating, but because the facility sat dormant for a couple years, the owners wanted to “put it through its paces” the first season in order to work out any unforeseen kinks.
“They wanted to make sure they had a strong foundation before beginning to work with promotors who will bring artists capable of filling the venue to capacity. Because this is a world-class venue, they’re confident that will happen,” she said, adding that they hope their biggest support will come from the local community. “Our concert series will end in August this year but we hope to expand it in the future. And while we hired around 100 employees for this season, that number will surely grow as we do. So for those who haven’t been here for a while, we’d really like them to come back and see what we’ve done and what we have to offer. For those who’ve never been here, we’d like them to come and experience a concert under the stars. It is a beautiful facility – it’s such a jewel – and it can do a lot for Lake of the Ozarks because of what it will bring. We’d like the community to support us because the community will also benefit when it grows to its potential.”
Camden County will continue issuing passports
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The Camden County Commissioner’s office has been processing an average of 550 U.S. passport applications each year – in opposition to state law, which only allowed circuit clerks to handle the process.
The glitch, experienced by many Missouri counties, was discovered last November during a Miller County audit. To rectify the problem, in their last session, state legislators approved a change that lets county commissioners determine who handles the applications. Although Gov. Jay Nixon hadn’t signed the bill by deadline of this issue of the “Lake of the Ozarks Business Journal,” because it wasn’t attached to any other legislation, it was expected to be signed and become law on August 28.
“We were all surprised to learn our office wasn’t supposed to be processing the applications because we’ve been doing it for several years,” said Donna Scheiter, administrative assistant for the Camden County Commissioners office. “It’s really a good thing that the law was passed because it would be much harder for residents if they couldn’t get them done locally.”
The Morgan County Circuit Clerk’s Office and the Macks Creek and Sunrise Beach post offices have also been processing the applications but appointments are required at the post offices.
According to the U.S. Department of State, you must apply in person if:
·You are applying for your first U.S. passport; or
·You are under age 16; or
·Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16; or
·Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged; or
·Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago; or
·Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change.
Those applying in person for a passport in the United States need to complete the DS-11 application form, which can be downloaded from the website, and then present it, along with evidence of U.S. citizenship; a current form of identification and a photocopy of that identification; a passport photo, which Scheiter said can be taken and processed while you wait at Walgreens, Walmart and HyVee; and the fee. The fee for first-time passports is $135, $25 of which stays in the county.
Proof of citizenship can be either a previously issued, undamaged, and fully valid U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county, or state of birth that lists the bearer’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, parent(s) full names that was filed with registrar’s office within one year of birth. The passport must also bear the registrar’s signature and an embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal of registrar. Photocopies and notarized copies are unacceptable.
Scheiter said processing time for a routine application takes four to six weeks; expedited application takes three weeks. However, she said there is an additional $60 fee for the expedited service and the fee has to be paid upon application. The passport can’t be expedited once it has started through the “routine” processing timeframe.
Court rules for Ameren in electrocution deaths
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-2 decision that Ameren Missouri isn’t liable for the July 4, 2012 electrocution deaths of two children who were swimming in Lake of the Ozarks. That ruling, handed down June 16, sided with the initial Morgan County Circuit Court decision in November 2013 to dismiss the lawsuit based on immunity under the state’s Recreational Use Act (RUA) and reversed a June 2014 appellate court decision that found the power company responsible.
The children’s mother, Angela Anderson, had filed a lawsuit in July 2013 against the utility company, claiming Ameren failed to adequately inspect her family’s private dock or warn them of the need to use ground fault interrupters at the shoreline to avoid electrocution.
According to officials who responded to the scene, there were multiple wiring problems at the private dock where Anderson’s 13-year-old daughter Alexandra and 8-year-old son Brayden were swimming when the incident occurred.
Ameren, which owns the lake and uses it to generate power, argued that it is protected by the RUA, which limits liability for companies that let the public use their property free of charge. Section 537.346 of that act states, “... an owner of land owes no duty of care to any person who enters on the land without charge…”
Anderson’s attorneys said the dock permit fees charged by Ameren negated that exemption.
However, Judge Paul C. Wilson, who wrote the Court’s Majority Opinion stated, “There is no basis in the statute … to hold that UE’s (Ameren Missouri’s) immunity under the RUA turns on whether the children waded into the Lake from the shore next to the dock or jumped into the Lake from the dock. What matters is not where or how the children entered the Lake, but whether UE imposed a charge for that entry. The fees that Anderson paid for her dock permit were for the privilege of building and using the dock. The ‘charge’ referred to in section 537.346, on the other hand, is only an ‘admission price or fee’ for the privilege of entering and using the Lake. Because Anderson does not (and cannot) allege that UE charged her (or her children) an admission fee for entry into the Lake, UE is immune from Anderson’s claims under the RUA and section 537.346.”
In RSMo 537.345(1), “charge” is defined as “the admission price or fee asked by an owner of land or an invitation or permission without or fee to use land for recreational purposes when such invitation or permission is given for the purpose of sales promotion, advertising or public goodwill in fostering business purposes.”
The majority opinion, in which Chief Justice Mary R. Russell and Judges Laura Denvir Stith, Patricia Breckenridge and Zel M. Fischer concurred, also cited Wilson v. United States, in which the court found that Fort Leonard Wood was immune from liability after a boy scout, who had paid a $2 fee to camp on the property, was injured. The court held that the fee was not a “charge” because it was not collected upon entry or to use the land. The ruling stated that the scouts could have used the land without paying $2 if they had not chosen to stay overnight. Wilson concluded by saying the only way to avoid inconsistent application of the act is to interpret the word “charge” as “an actual admission price paid for permission to enter the land at the time of its use for recreational purposes.”
Judge Wilson also stated in his written opinion that, “The act of charging a fee serves a ‘commercial’ purpose only if the primary aim of those fees is to generate a profit or other business advantage. Anderson does not allege that (Ameren) charged its permit fees with profit as the primary aim. Instead, she concedes that the permit fees are part of a program imposed for purposes are that are not primarily commercial.”
The license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizes Ameren to operate Bagnell Dam and to implement a dock permitting program only if the permits coincide with the purpose of protecting and enhancing the recreational value of the Lake. Ameren is prohibited from operating the Lake as a commercial venue, using the permit fees as a means of profit.
In a dissenting opinion, Judge Richard B. Teitelman, with Judge George W. Draper III concurring, argued the dock would not exist without the fees Ameren charges to dock owners, stating in his written opinion, “I would hold that these dock fees amounted to a ‘charge’ for the children to use the dock to access the lake.”
While few people welcome additional regulations and higher fees on any service, some are saying it might be time for Ameren to step up the dock program to require regular inspections of all electrified docks – not just when those docks are being transferred or installed.
“My grandkids are coming down in August and they like to be in the water from sun up to sundown but there’s no way I’m going to let them swim anywhere close to docks,” said one man who owns a home outside of Camdenton. “We aren’t lakefront so we rent a slip for our boat. I regularly take my GFI tester down to make sure everything is working okay but that really doesn’t mean anything if one of the neighboring docks is pumping out stray electricity. Docks on Lake of the Ozarks rock – what – 100,000 times a day, day in and day out? And how many were wired by ‘do-it-your-selfers?’ I know that nobody wants to be the bad guy in this situation but we can’t keep stumbling through one electrocution after another. Someone has to take responsibility for making this Lake safe.”
Interest in dock safety continues to grow
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Since 2012, when three people were electrocuted in two separate swimming incidents at Lake of the Ozarks, requests for dock inspections have been on the rise.
On July 4, 2012, 13-year-old Alexandra Anderson and her 8-year-old son Brayden, both of Ashland, died after being electrocuted while swimming near their family’s dock in the Gravois Arm.
Three days later, Jennifer Lankford, 26, of Hazelwood, was electrocuted when she touched her family’s dock while swimming. Two other children, who also were in the water, swam away from the dock and were not injured.
Faulty wiring has been blamed for both incidents.
“You should check your dock each time it’s going to be used –not each season – each time,” emphasized Jim Doyle, fire marshal for the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District. “You can buy a GFI (ground fault interrupter) tester at any hardware or building store. You plug it into the outlets and push the button, which simulates a problem. If it doesn’t trip your GFI, you should shut power off to the dock and call an electrician.”
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the ground-fault circuit interrupter is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power in the event of a ground-fault within as little as 1/40 of a second. It works by comparing the amount of current going to and returning from equipment along the circuit conductors. When the amount going differs from the amount returning by approximately 5 milliamperes, the GFCI interrupts the current.
Doyle said dock owners should also make sure all ground wires are attached at all pivot points, on the dock ladder and boat lift; and they should check to see that there are no frayed wires anywhere. For safety reasons, he said dock owners should have the ability to shut off power to the dock immediately and have that shut-off clearly labeled. Extension cords should never be used to operate appliances on the dock.
“Water and electricity don’t mix. People would never plug a radio in, set it on the side of their bathtub and then climb in but they don’t think anything at all about running an extension cord to the dock to provide power,” he said.
So far this year, his office has conducted 102 dock inspections. He said although some are being conducted because the property is being sold, many others are the result of the 2012 drownings.
“People have become more aware both through the mailings done by Ameren and by word of mouth. A lot of times – especially in coves – several people will get their docks inspected and then fixed because of one neighbor. They see them getting their dock fixed, start asking questions and before long, four or five others are following suit,” Doyle said. “We’ve found that, nearly without exception, people want to do the right thing. A lot of people just never thought about it before. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a tragedy to open eyes.”
Robert Davis, chief building inspector for the Village of Four Seasons, and Samuel Schulte, who now handles the dock inspection program for the Village, agreed. Schulte said while about half of the newer docks pass inspection, the percentage is much lower for the older docks in the Village.
“However, once people know they have a problem, they’ve been very responsive and have done whatever was needed to fix the problem,” Davis said, adding that they had to call on Ameren to “pull the plug” on only one occasion – and it was only because his department was unable to contact the homeowner of a dock they considered “dangerous.”
Davis said he and other inspecting agencies have the authority to request electricity
be shut off to the property when life-threatening conditions exist.
The Osage Beach Fire Protection District has conducted 174 dock inspections so far this year.
For more information on electrical requirements, visit http://ameren.com/missouri/lake-of-the-ozarks/dock-electrical-installations.
Lots of ‘New’ at Old Kinderhook
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
“Tranquil surroundings and a peaceful environment are a lot closer than you think.”
That’s one of the adages being used to describe the proximity and the atmosphere of the newly completed Lodge at Old Kinderhook. Located off Highway 54, just west of Camdenton, guests enter a whole other world when they drive thru the gates.
“All the busyness of the Lake – the hustle and bustle - is left behind when you enter the property. We’re relaxed – secluded – but yet close to everything. The facility is beautiful – a one-of-a-kind property here at Lake of the Ozarks,” promised Jeff Carroll, director of business development for Old Kinderhook.
The lodge, just completed in March, features 84 new guest rooms; a 250-person capacity state-of-the-art conference center featuring the latest in audio visual capabilities and equipment and high speed internet; and a 3,200-square-foot ballroom to service conferences and social events – all overlooking the 15th fairway and 18th hole of the Tom Weiskopf signature course.
Already, conferences have been booked out as far as 2019. Some of those conferences reservations have come from some of the 25,000 golfers who visit the links each year. However, Carroll said the lodge won’t just appeal to golfers.
“Of course, they’ll appreciate the stay-and-play packages and group rates that are offered to guests, but the rest of the amenities are just as awesome. The marina has been expanded; we have indoor and outdoor pools; there’s a sand volleyball court in the warm months and ice skating rink in the winter; our restaurants feature fresh food from our sustainable garden; and we have upgraded spa facilities that feature multiple treatment rooms where an array of services will be available,” he said.
Those services include a variety of massages, body treatments, manicures and pedicures, seven different facials, and packages that combine a variety of offerings.
The sustainable garden is an all-natural garden maintained by the golf course superintendent staff. Carroll said Food and Beverage Director John Biggs and Executive Chef Thomas Robinett create the summertime menu based on what is produced in that garden.
“The majority of the vegetables that you’re eating are grown here on site and the flavors and varieties are amazing! They grow close to a dozen different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and peppers, as well as zucchini, carrots, beets, okra, five different varieties of cucumbers, eggplant and a variety of herbs that are used to create outstanding dishes in the Trophy Room, which is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also have the Hook Café which offers more of a quick-service breakfast and lunch and the Hearth Room Coffee Bar proudly serves Starbucks coffee. And poolside and volleyball court snacks and drinks can be purchased at the Cabana,” Carroll added.
Old Kinderhook also hired Charlotte Divincen as activities coordinator so there’s no lack of fun things to do – things like sandcastle building, hula hoops, bean bag toss and pond fishing as well as scheduled games for both children and adults.
Although the lodge includes 84 rooms, many more guests can be accommodated because Old Kinderhook also has golf cottages, patio homes, villas, and estate and developer homes available.
“We have our own developer properties as well as resale properties. Folks who purchase properties here can also place them on a rental program so we have 25 to 40 additional on-site properties on our management program at any given time. Because some of those outside units can be split into two different sleeping arrangements, we have the capabilities of handling quite a few more people,” he said, adding that he knew once guests experience all that Old Kinderhook has to offer – whether visiting as part of a business conference or a family vacation – they will return again and again. “It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you drive on to the property. You’re at the Lake – and we’re on the Lake between the 11 and 12 mile mark of the Big Niangua – but it’s different than anyplace else. And because it actually takes less time to get to the outlet mall from here than it does from Horseshoe Bend, there’s no reason to ever stay anywhere else!”
Old Kinderhook is located on Eagle Ridge Road off U.S. Highway 54 just west of Camdenton. For more information, call 573-317-3552, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.oldkinderhook.com or Old Kinderhook’s Facebook page. For information on conferences, contact Gayla Welsh at email@example.com or Paige Jones @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January, the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council (LOREDC) named Old Kinderhook as its Business Partner of the Year because the $10-million expansion not only provided additional jobs for the community, it created additional opportunities to draw business to the Lake area.
Glimpses May 2015
PROMOTING LAKE OF THE OZARKS
Bagnell Dam and Lake of the Ozarks were created at the beginning of the Great Depression, a time when jobs and money were scarce and about the only people who could visit the Lake regularly on weekends were nearby residents and the wealthy. The pioneer resorts and attractions immediately formed the Lake the Ozarks Improvement and Protective Association to promote the Lake, keep it healthy, and hired a director. However, within a few years the first director was ousted from office because he was considered too strong in environmentalism and too weak in promotion. The association was renamed and re-organized as the Lake of the Ozarks Association and in 1939, issued its first vacation and service guide titled “Vacation in the Heart of Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks.” The guide had 72-pages, and was 6” x 9” in size with a black and white interior (see photo).
What the Association did not anticipate was America’s entry into World War II and the subsequent rationing of gas, tires and automobiles which had a negative impact on tourism. So the Association was unable to issue more service guides until 1950 and thereafter they came out each year. This was the beginning of the “Lake of the Ozarks Official Vacation and Service Guide” that the area’s Convention & Visitor Bureau produces today. The Association did support the distribution of Lake of the Ozarks road maps during the war.
Outlying communities like Eldon, Jefferson City, Lebanon and Versailles, which are not located adjacent to the Lake’s shoreline, played a larger part in Lake promotion in the first two decades than they do today. By the late 1950s Warsaw would not be included in the Association’s guidebook as they would have their Headwaters Association guidebooks and maps. The dividing line between the two was the Ivy Bend area at the 60 mile mark.
This historical sketch is from the collection of H. Dwight Weaver. He is the author of six books on the history of Lake of the Ozarks.
The author’s latest book on Lake history – Images of America, Osage Beach – is now locally available and is a pictorial history of Osage Beach from 1880 to 1980. Weaver’s book “A Pictorial Guide to Ha Ha Tonka State Park” contains more than 300 photos of the park, which include all of the park’s significant natural and man-made features along its trails and boardwalks.
Contact him at: email@example.com or call 573-365-1171. Visit www.lakeoftheozarksbooks.com to obtain more information or to purchase one of his books on line.