Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunrise Beach chooses Schultz & Summers for sewer project - Business

The Sunrise Beach City Council

 Sunrise Beach chooses Schultz & Summers for sewer project - Business: SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. – The Board of Trustees voted unanimously
during Tuesday night’s special session to contract Schultz and
Summers Engineerin…

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gravois Sewer approves construction bids for Phase III - Business

Gravois Sewer approves construction bids for Phase III - Business: The Gravois Mills Board of Trustees approved a resolution Mondayfor construction bids and awarding project contracts for the Phase
III Sewer …

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Realtors, bankers ,insurance agents, and floodplain managers attended
the FEMA seminar sponsored by Schultz and Summers Engineering 

Monique Pilch covered Flood Insurance
BRANSON, MO-  SSE hosted an informational flood insurance seminar to help local bankers, realtors, insurance agents, developers, contractors, and homeowners better understand how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines flood zones and how the flood insurance program works. Over 60 individuals involved with the property transaction process attended the 5 hour seminar.  Bill Watson from Tri-Lakes Reality said, “More and more real estate sales are being impacted because of floodplain and flood insurance issues.  The information presented at the seminar has given me a much better understanding of the process and how I can help my customers correctly deal with these issues.  I also own property in Iowa and the flooding up there was terrible.  This seminar really helped me better understand how the process works.”

Scott Samuels, the former Floodplain Management Engineer for the State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and Monique Pilch, the current FEMA RVII Insurance Representative, were the main instructors for the day.  Scott presented a program covering Floodplain basics: NFIP background, why FIRM's are updated, and what to do when you are in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). They also went over Elevation Certifications and the LOMA processes.  Monique focused her time on Flood Insurance Rate Maps and how to understand the effects of map changes on flood insurance, as well as working through the claims processing after a flood.  “Teaching in a seminar like this is a great way to help the public better understand the FEMA flood management process and how the insurance program works.  The Branson participants were very engaged and asked some great questions.  With all the flooding that has taken place here I very much enjoyed helping them better understand and participate in the program, commented Monique.”     Rodney Jetton from SSE concluded the session with a summary of their surveying services, prices, and how they help homeowners obtain a LOMA.

Sixty-eight counties in Missouri either just adopted new maps or will be adopting new FEMA flood maps, including Taney, Stone, Christian, Lawrence, Barry, and Green counties in southwest Missouri.  These map updates place some properties in the floodplain while others may be removed.  Once a property is in the floodplain flood insurance can be required.  Ron Tagge, owner of Ron Tagge Insurance added, “Lenders are now  federally required to determine if a property is in a floodplain.  If there are any doubts homeowners are being forced to buy flood insurance.  I’m dealing with more and more of these situations, but if the homeowner has a survey done and proves they are above the floodplain they can eliminate or reduce the cost of the insurance.  We do everything we can to make sure a homeowner has the required coverage, but if they do not need it we can help them get the help they need to show FEMA and their banker exactly where their house is in relation to the floodplain.”

Scott Samuels explains how maps are updated
Most communities where new maps have been adopted report having new properties end up in the flood zone while some properties are removed.  This forces those new property owners to obtain flood insurance.  Sometimes properties that have never flooded and are clearly out of the floodplain are shown by the new map to be in the floodplain.  Instructor Scott Samuels explained it by saying, “The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) map updates are designed after careful watershed studies using aerial photos and contour lines.  While these tools are good, they do not perfectly reflect the elevation of a property within the floodplain.  Conducting a survey is the best way to show the exact elevation of a property.”

Wendell Beard looks over a plat map
FEMA recognizes that the maps are not perfect and have developed a process for removing a property from the floodplain.  If a homeowner provides an Elevation Certificate (EC) to FEMA that shows the finished floor of a structure is above the floodplain elevation, FEMA then gives the homeowner a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) that can be used to remove the property from the flood zone.  SSE surveyor Wendell Beard mentioned, “I have done hundreds of elevation surveys around our lakes here in southwest Missouri and about 75% of them prove that the structure is not in the floodplain.  I know it’s a hassle for the folks who have to deal with it, but helping homeowners determine if they are in the floodplain is a part of my job I very much enjoy.”

Schultz and Summers Engineering has developed a program that lowers the costs and speeds up the process of getting a survey done and applying for a LOMA to FEMA.  Their program has kept them very busy and they report doing over 650 flood elevation surveys in 2011.  Business Development Director Rodney Jetton added, “Our flood survey business has exploded because we charge a low standard fee, offer neighborhood pricing discounts, guarantee a quick turnaround time and even offer a minimal trip charge if the survey shows you are in the flood plain.” 
Participants learned a lot about floodplain liability

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunrise Beach considers wastewater system proposals

The Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees may soon get its proposed sewer system off dead center. Trustees are considering two proposals and two engineering firms for a proposed wastewater treatment system. With the potential to get funding sooner than expected, the board has scheduled a special meeting Dec. 20 to make a decision on what direction to take.

 A few months ago, the village began to look at ways to phase the proposed sewer along Highway 5. Olsson Engineering was contracted to study the feasibility of a wastewater system for what has been called the City Hall Ridge area, basically the northern part of town. Its preliminary engineering report (PER) was provided to the board Dec. 12 for review. Schultz & Summers Engineering (SSE) made a proposal Dec. 12 to sewer the Highway 5 corridor focusing on commercial users.

 SSE had previously declined to make a proposal to the village due to a contractual issue between the board and Midwest Engineering, which had completed another PER for a Highway 5 sewer.
SSE had reviewed Midwest's PER for free and recently presented its findings, which were positive, to the trustees. It originally proposed to subcontract with Midwest.  Since then, SSE co-owner Stan Schultz said he has negotiated a deal to purchase the PER information from Midwest, if SSE is selected as the engineer for the sewer project.

 While the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and USDA Rural Development had put off the village until the second phase of the water system had been operating for a year, SSE helped appeal DNR's staff level decision to shelve the project. Getting Sunrise Beach placed on the disadvantaged community list, Schultz with trustees Curt Mooney and Charlie Bott received tentative approval to get 2012 funding if the village could recraft the budget and turn in the revised PER by the first of the year.

Stan Schultz

 The construction cost had to be reduced to approximately $4 million. The original PER from Midwest had a budget of almost $7 million, but that project had included a larger capacity to allow for some growth on the system. In its Dec. 12 presentation, SSE proposed a rough plan to construct a minimum, basic sewer for the entire Highway 5 corridor in Sunrise Beach focusing on commercial users, which has been the main support and reason for a sewer system. Residents along the path of the collection system could hook up if they wanted to but it would not be mandatory.

 Schulz did not have a complete PER to present to the board but said the revised PER could likely be done by the end of the week. Trustees decided to schedule a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 20 to give SSE time to complete the revised PER for more firm numbers, and still meet the DNR timeline.
The board has not rejected the City Hall Ridge proposal at this time. It could also take the SSE concept and request a similar PER from Olsson.
Greg Williams

 Village attorney Greg Williams advised the board to make the decisions on an engineering firm and scope of project independently. SSE has no contract with the village at this time. The work done so far has been on its own time.  During visitor comments, Ron Duggan thanked the board for their work and gave his support of SSE which has been working on a solution to sewer problems at his business, Captain Ron's Bar & Grill. The lakefront entertainment venue that is home to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout event is being pursued by the State Attorney General's Office for violations of the Clean Water Act.

 His is the most prominent but certainly not the only business in Sunrise Beach that has been in trouble with DNR over wastewater. The proposed plan to sewer the entire corridor could give Captain Ron's and the other businesses a reprieve as a more long term solution would be in the works. It could also provide a boost to economic development in the village.

Friday, December 2, 2011

KOLR10- FEMA Sorts Out Insurance Impacts from Spring Flooding

Here is a story on the FEMA flood insurance class Schultz and Summers sponsored. Over 60 bankers, realtors and floodplain manager attended the classes.

SSE has completed over 650 flood surveys in Missouri this year. Their low set fees, neighborhood pricing discounts and minimal trip charges for those who are in the flood zone have been a big reason so many people have had them help them with their surveys.

Another aspect of their service that is bringing them more business is that they do all the paperwork and work with FEMA to get the property owner a LOMA. They also guarantee to finish flood surveys in one week.

Monique Pilch the FEMA flood insurance specialist explain the claims process

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

When A Levee Needs Repaired Fast, the USACE Turns To Schultz and Summers Engineering

SSE was selected by the Memphis Corps of Engineers District to perform all the
testing for Operation “Make Safe,” the emergency repair work on the Birds Point Levee. 

Crops ready to be harvested behind the new levee

EAST PRARIE, MO- Last May the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) intentionally blew up the Birds Point- New Madrid Floodway levee, flooding over 130,000 acres with up to 23 feet of water and damaging hundreds of buildings and homes in the floodplain.  In addition to the property damage, the blast and ensuing floodwaters left three giant crevasses that totaled nearly three miles in length. This left those same homes and millions of dollars worth of crops vulnerable to the mighty Mississippi River this fall. “If the area were to flood again it would put many people out of business”, stated Carlin Bennett, the Mississippi County Presiding Commissioner.

Additionally, the raging waters left several huge scour holes up to three stories deep and four football fields wide.  SSE owner Stan Schultz said, “The amount of soil needed to repair these breeches and sand to fill in the scour holes is massive.  Helping the USACE accomplish this task before the fall rains could harm this year’s harvest has been very satisfying.”
Mark Ritter in the bottom of a scour hole that is almost filled in

When the Memphis corps district went looking for a material testing company to help with Operation “Make Safe”, they called the Army corps district that has the most experience in repairing levees-New Orleans. Because of the stellar performance by Schultz and Summers in New Orleans, they have quickly become known as a company that can perform fast and reliable soil tests when called upon. It wasn’t long before SSE received a call asking if they would be interested in providing testing services for the corps on the Birds Point Levee Floodway. Said Schultz, “Of course we were excited about working on such an important project, and helping repair a critical levee right here in our own backyard was very appealing. I immediately sent them my top soil technician, Mark Ritter, because I knew he would help to keep the project moving.”  

With such a tight schedule the corps didn’t have time to solicit design and construction bids, so they decided to do this job themselves.  They quickly designed the interim levee, brought 41 pieces of dirt moving equipment and 43 corps personnel from several different districts to southeast Missouri, and began work.  There were only two outside contractors involved in the project, Schultz and Summers Engineering for testing and J.W. Transport for trucks to haul the needed soil and sand.

One item of contention has been the height of the interim levee.  The current design is the same as the 51 foot river gauge at Cairo, IL.  Once funding is approved, the plan is to take the levee back up to its original height of 62.5 feet.  The interim repairs are projected to cost $15 million and it will cost another $21 million to raise it back to the original height. But corps spokesman Jim Pogue said, “Corps officials are evaluating the whole Mississippi River flood protection system before ranking projects, but where there is a potential for loss of life, that’s always going to be at the top of the list. The floodway is important. It’s going to happen. It’s not an if, it’s just a when.”  

Amazingly, this project started June 16, 2011 and is on track to be completed by November 30, 2011. Currently they have completed 95% of the work at the upper crevasse, 56% at the center crevasse and 100% at the lower crevasse.  “We’re still on target to meet the deadline,” said Pouge.

The follow-on project to Operation “Make Safe”, called Operation “Restore”, will reconstruct the floodway system to the pre-operational level of protection. The construction schedule is contingent on the availability of funding.  Clearly, the gridlock in Washington has slowed the appropriations process down. But earlier this year Jo Ann Emerson led the charge to get $589 million for levee repairs pushed through the House Appropriations Committee and recently the U.S. Senate passed Senator Blunt’s amendment and included it in the FY2012 spending bill for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

Blunt said, “We must work to provide communities with short term and long term recovery and disaster mitigation, which is why I recently introduced an amendment that was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee to add $400 million to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) — funding that picks up where FEMA leaves off.”

Many farmers gambled that the fall flooding wouldn’t come and planted crops after the flood waters receded.  Memphis Corps District employee Mark Broughton reports that about 90% of the flood way had crops planted.  He said most of it was in beans and they were planted late, but some farmers have gotten 50 to 60 bushes per an acre. Of course those farmers who owned land in the 10% that was totally destroyed, didn’t fare so well.     

Until the funding is approved for the higher levee, the threat of spring flooding has most farmers apprehensive about planting more crops in the floodway.  Many farmers are seeing crop insurance rates twice as high as 2010. With the Mississippi River staying at record summer levels along with a levee that is 11 feet shorter than the old one, residents are worried that even normal flooding could breach the interim levee.  KFVS News reported that county officials told them the data shows the river has been over 51 feet seven times in the last 12 years.

 Bobby Carlisle USACE, Mark Ritter SSE and Mark Broughton USACE
Schultz and Summers Engineering has played a major role in assisting the corps personnel in keeping the project on schedule.  Making sure the soil has the right amount of moisture and compaction is important to the long term strength of any levee.  SSE soil technician Mark Ritter said, “We have done over 300 tests so far on the project.  The results have been outstanding and everything has come in within the standards.  It’s been a bit hard to keep up with the fast pace of the corps, but we have done whatever it takes to support their efforts and keep things moving.”     

To read the most up to date info on the Birds Point Levee repairs go to:    

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


We want to wish all of our customers and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We very much appreciate your business and look forward to working with you more in the future. 

Friday, November 11, 2011


C&M Contractors & SSE finished the project ahead of schedule and within budget!

Melinda of C&M and Doug of Ridge Hill pose for a photo.

President Obama
JOPLIN, MO- On May 22, 2011 Joplin Missouri was devastated by an F5 tornado that killed 156 people and left the city of Joplin in ruins.  The high school, along with several of the athletic fields, was totally destroyed.  Soon after the event President Obama said, "Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Joplin, Missouri. We commend the heroic efforts by those who have responded and who are working to help their friends and neighbors at this very difficult time. At my direction, FEMA is working with the affected areas' state and local officials to support response and recovery efforts, and the federal government stands ready to help our fellow Americans as needed."

With the presidents orders in hand FEMA jumped into action.  They put contracts in place to begin the cleanup effort, and build the needed temporary housing.  Another project they put a priority on was building new High School Athletic fields.  Working through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-Kansas City District, they hoped to design, build and complete new soccer, softball, baseball and football fields that the students could use by October 15th.  Time was of the essence so they moved fast to find a reliable contractor that could quickly design and construct these fields. Owner Charlie Bass said, “The damage to Joplin was indescribable, and losing so many people in a town that side was a tragedy.  Being picked to help the rebuild was a real honor and we did everything we could to finish this job on time and within the budget!” 

The Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) had provided C&M Contractors as well as SSE the help they needed to be registered as a small business with the federal government.  Because of that help the USACE was able to identify that C&M Contractors had the background and experience to handle a design build project for the Joplin ball fields.  SSE owner Stan Schultz added, “Once C&M told us the schedule for this project we quickly gave them the support and staff they needed to begin the design process.  Melinda and Charlie may be new to the 8a program, but their 15 year track record of working in the private sector on demanding construction schedules was perfect for this project.” 

Melinda Vaughn
Charlie Bass
On July 13th the USACE contacted C&M Contractors about this project and on July14th owners Melinda Vaughn and Charlie Bass made their first visit to the site.  They were chosen for a design/build negotiated contract by the USACE- Kansas City District and Melinda Vaughn quickly assembled an experienced team including Schultz & Summers Engineering as well as Ridge Hill Contractors.  On July23rd, only nine days later, SSE successfully completed the design which allowed C&M Contractors to successfully negotiate the contract for the temporary athletic fields located at the Joplin South Middle School.   These included a baseball, softball, soccer, and a football field.  The contracting authority was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; however, the project was funded by FEMA through their critical infrastructure program as part of the disaster relief effort after the tornado. Heather Morgan a landscape architect for the USACE said, “There was a lot of pressure on this project with people saying I need this now, along with me pushing and calling Brad Allbritton on the weekend because SSE had to come out and site plan the project, grade it, do all the permitting and prepare the construction documents at the speed of light.  C&M Contracting and SSE did that! We had a full site with all these existing conditions and SSE had to come up with deliverables that normally take months on end to create, to get earth moving and get everything correct as far as cost estimating.  On a large site that is not easy to do, but it saves time.”    

Heather Morgan goes over the plans
Typically, design build contracts are awarded to large construction and engineering firms, but because of the tornado and emergency situation FEMA wanted to find a small business that could begin work immediately.  Rarely do small companies like C&M Contractors have an opportunity to do this kind of project.  C&M owner Melinda Vaughn said, “Even though we are new to the 8a program working on design build projects is not new to us.  Charlie and our project managers all understand the importance of doing quality work on projects that have demanding timelines.  We also have some very capable and reliable partners in Schultz and Summers Engineering & Ridge Hill Contractors. A good team makes successfully completing a project like this easy” Charlie Bass added, “Having quality local subcontractors helped us complete the project on time.  Bill’s Electric placed the lights for two fields and Anchor Fence built the fencing around the softball and baseball fields. Their hard work was invaluable.”

On September 1st the final sod was laid down which completed the project 45 days ahead of schedule.  The grading was complete, the grass was growing, the bleachers were in place, and the lights were shining the night the students took the field for the first time.  While some may say ball fields are not that important, the folks in Joplin do not agree.  Mike Johnson, Director of Maintenance  added, “We lost several students in that storm and anything that can help bring some normalcy back into these kids lives is a wonderful thing.  What FEMA the USACE, C&M, SSE and all the workers have done for our school is truly a blessing.” 
One of the finished ball fields.