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