Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Mayor Watkins and City Council members thank Bob Summers

HAYTI, MO- What do you get when you combine a low water table, an old water plant in disrepair and no money to fix it?  In Hayti, Missouri they were getting citations from MoDNR and the quality of the water their citizens were drinking was terrible.  Mayor Bobby Watkins said, “Our water was so bad nobody wanted to drink it and it became the number one issue I believe I was elected to take on.” 

Schultz and Summers Engineering was asked to help Hayti fix their water quality problems and they immediately sent Marvin Nesbit to assess the situation.  Marvin has helped dozens of communities find the resources they needed provide sewer and water services to their residents.  Nesbit added, “Hayti had a serious problem with their water treatment plant.  DNR was all over them about it and they desperately needed to get it fixed.”  

Marvin Nesbit
SSE looked at their current plant as well as the old plans and designed a new system that would meet the needs of their citizens, not only today, but well into the future.  The city council took the design and presented it to the voters and a bond issue was passed with an unbelievable 91%.  Watkins said, “Our citizens wanted this problem fixed and Marvin, along with all the SSE engineers, came to our public meetings explained the process and answered any questions that the voters asked.  As a first term mayor having someone like Marvin, who had been through the process before and knew how everything worked, made my job a lot easier.”

Schultz and Summers helped apply for the grants and low interest rate loans available through the government programs.  They helped them with the initial design and costs estimates and made sure all the required paperwork was filled out properly and turned into the USDA.  Owner Bob Summers added, “Sometimes it is hard for a small town to afford hiring an engineer to get all the cost estimates and initial designs done before they have been awarded any grants.  Providing rural residents with clean drinking water is important to our company and that’s why we take a chance and provide preliminary work for free to help get the funding they need.”

Mayor Watkins and Bob in front of new Water Plant
Hayti was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the USDA, which allowed them to move forward on completing the design and hiring a contractor to make the improvements.  With SSE’s help their plan was approved and they quickly received their grant.   Through the normal bidding process Robertson Construction was picked to build the new plant.  

The new plant will be much cheaper to operate.  It will produce 1,200 gallons of clean drinking water per minute but use half the electricity, half the chemicals and half the manpower to operate in comparison to the City’s old plant.  The City estimates that they will save over $50,000 a year with the new treatment plant.  Mayor Watkins added, “This plant will be able to produce enough water to handle even emergency situations such as a fire and we now have a generator so that if we lose power, because of an ice storm, our citizens will still have water.  To have a plant that is cheaper to operate but produces more and cleaner water is a dream come true.” 

Dan Koehler in front of 1938 plant
Additionally, Hayti had enough money to repair and fix several water lines, rehabilitate two elevated water towers, as well as purchase a radio read water meter system for the entire city.  “We were able to keep costs down and save money which allowed Hayti to not only build the new plant but to also make other needed repairs to the system,” commented Summers.    

The plant was brought on line in February of 2011 and a ribbon cutting was held in March to announce the official opening.  Over 50 community leader joined the city council members and Mayor Watkins in celebrating this historic milestone for the city of Hayti.  Mayor Watkins concluded, “Schultz and Summers played a huge part in making this happen.  They were there from the beginning and walked us through the whole process starting with public meetings, the bond election, the application process, the bidding process to construction and testing and to finally supplying clean water.  Without Dan Koehler, Marvin Nesbit and Bob Summers we couldn’t have done it.” He added, “Since the new treatment plant came on line people stop me all the time and say how happy they are to be able to actually drink the water from their tap!”   

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Schultz and Summers Engineering Ranks No. 1613 on the 2011 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 169%

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Fourth Annual Exclusive List of
America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies, The Inc. 5000

NEW YORK, October 18, 2011 -- Inc. magazine ranked Schultz and Summers Engineering NO. 1613 on its fifth annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent-minded entrepreneurs. Online retailer Ideeli tops this year’s list and Spirit Airlines, television maker Vizio, Honest Tea, Dunkin Donuts and Metrokane, makers of the Rabbit corkscrew, are among other prominent brands featured in the rankings. Owner Bob Summers said, “It is an honor to go from #3832 last year to #1613 this year.  SSE has gone from a small company with a handful of employees in Poplar Bluff, Missouri to a growing operation providing engineering services in seven different states throughout the Midwest.”

Schultz and Summers Engineering is a Missouri based civil engineering company with offices in Poplar Bluff, Branson, Lake Ozark and New Orleans. They have provided drinking water and sewer services to over 47 communities in Missouri.  To date, they have helped those communities obtain over $90,000,000 in public funding.  SSE has set up several large state of the art USACE validated testing labs and are one of the select companies that have been approved for Blanket Purchase Agreement with the USACE.  They have also provided surveying services to a variety of clients including electric utilities, MoDOT, USACE, cities, large corporations, small businesses and private individuals. SSE is a HubZone certified company and can be found at or or   

SSE Owners Bob Summers & Stan Schultz
In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2011 Inc. 500|5000 companies remains an impressive 94 percent. The companies on this year’s list report having created 350,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $366 billion, up 14 percent from last year. "Now, more than ever, we depend on Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward.  Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” says Inc. magazine Editor Jane Berentson.

Schultz and Summers created a whopping 35 jobs over the past three years.  They were the 18th fastest growing Missouri company and 25th fasted growing engineering company on the 2011 Inc.5000 list. 2011 marks the third time SSE has been ranked by Inc. 500, with the first being in 2003.  Company founder Stan Schultz concluded, “Our employees work hard to provide a quality product to our customers.  This results in new clients seeking our services and the reason we have experienced such rapid growth as a company.” 

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found on

Monday, October 17, 2011

Missouri DNR Fees Are Extended - Message From Bob Summers


Bob Summers

As I write this, the year is half over, the summer is here and our business is continuing to grow.  I don’t know if you kept up with the MoDNR fee issue this year but the statutes allowing the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) fee collection for wastewater discharge permits expired December 31, 2010.  While this has caused financial problems within the department most of us were concerned about the possibility of the EPA taking over these responsibilities.  

          I’m sure we all have a situation where MoDNR didn’t rule in our favor or didn’t approve a permit as fast as we would have wanted, but I don’t know of anyone who wanted the EPA managing the state’s clean water program. 

          Fortunately, on the second to last day of session the legislature approved HB 89, reinstating the fees that fund the water regulation programs in Missouri.  The fees are paid by commercial developers, home builders, utilities, manufacturers and livestock producers.  They expired in December 2010 and this legislation reinstates them with no increase, until September 2013.  The bill also requires the MoDNR director to conduct a study of fees and report back to the legislature. 

          House members gave the legislation final approval Thursday, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon.  The bill included an emergency clause which allows it to take effect as soon and the Governor signs it, instead of having to wait until August 28th like other bills.

          Here is a copy of the summary outlining the fee authorization.

The bill removes the expiration date on the public notice requirements of the Clean Water
 Commission of the State of Missouri when listing any impaired waters of the state under
 Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act.  The commission's authority to charge
 fees for construction permits, operating permits, and operator's certifications related to 
water pollution control is extended from December 31, 2010, to September 1, 2013.
The Director of the Department of Natural Resources must conduct a comprehensive 
review of the water pollution fee structure including input from stakeholders.  The 
department director must submit a report to the General Assembly by December 31, 2012, 
including the findings and a recommended plan for the fee structure.
          This 56 page omnibus bill dealing with natural resources made many other changes to our laws. Some of the key changes effecting our water quality programs and DNR dealt with permit time periods, and appeals.  These changes were designed to speed up the permitting process by putting more responsibility on the department.  Time will tell how the new rules affect the permitting process in Missouri.  Here is the summery language concerning those provisions: 

In any case in which the Department of Natural Resources has not issued a permit or made a permit decision by the expiration of the statutorily required time frame, the permit must be issued as of the first day following the expiration if all the necessary information has been submitted for the application and the department has had the information for the duration of the required time frame.

(1)  Allows a potential permit applicant to appeal the terms and conditions of a water
pollution control general permit template to the Clean Water Commission within 30 
days of the issuance of the template by the department if the applicant can demonstrate
 that he or she is or may be adversely affected by any permit, term, or condition;
(2)  Specifies that the permit applicant has the burden of proof only for an appeal relating
 to the denial of a permit, license, or registration; but for all other appeals, the commission 
will have the burden of proof.  Currently, the burden of proof in an appeal hearing regarding
 the issuance of a water pollution control permit is on the permit applicant;
(3)  Authorizes the department to modify, reissue, or terminate a water pollution control 
permit at the request of the permit holder.  All requests must be in writing and contain facts 
or reasons in support of the request; and
(4)  Requires the department to implement permit shield provisions that are equivalent 
to the provisions implemented pursuant to federal law.
The Department of Natural Resources must make a determination regarding the affordability
 to communities and their residents of permit requirements and other department decisions 
related to combined or separate sanitary sewer systems or publicly-owned treatment works.  
 The affordability determination must be made prior to issuing a permit or rendering a decision. 
 If the department fails to make a determination, the proposed permit or decision will be void 
and unenforceable.  The bill specifies the criteria that the department must follow when making 
a determination.
          Passing this bill was the right thing to do and I hope you take the time to thank your legislator for dealing with this very important issue.  If you are a local govern official or you help supply water and waterwater services in Missouri I would encourage you to visit and look up HB 89. 
          It has been a busy year here at SSE and this issue is one we have monitored closely.  It has a direct impact on our ability to help communities all across Missouri with their water and wastewater needs.  Feel free to call me with any questions and I hope you have a fun and relaxing summer.

Bob Summers