Tragedies call for mandatory inspections
Because we have had tragedies, near the docks at the Lake of the Ozarks, I think we should have mandatory dock inspections. I know that docks built before 2006 were grandfathered in, before inspections of new docks became law. Safety to our residents, visitors, and little children should come before an antiquated law that is dangerous and puts money before people.
I think that the Missouri Water Patrol has too little manpower to keep up inspections on 30,000 docks. The issuing agent for permits for seawalls and docks on the lake is Ameren UE. I really think it should fall upon them to inspect the electrical system of the docks. The dock owners should pay a small fee for this safety check.
Following the inspection, they could put a sticker on the dock denoting the year of the inspection. If they did it this way, they could have a time limit to fix any problems. Following this time limit, the dock owner would face a stiff fine, of say $500 for non-compliance, followed by jail time, if necessary. The ultimate goal would be to make everybody aware of how serious electrical safety is on the lake.
It seems to me that we we able to eliminate non-encapsulated foam on the lake as a pollution hazard. This is a bigger and more dangerous threat to our community than that ever was. We must all come together as a community with one voice, one heart, and one spirit to save the lives of many more who may be caught unaware. If we can do this, we will also save ourselves and our
Ameren should be held responsible for inspections
AmerenUE is responsible for dock permits and should be held accountable for safety inspections and penalties for non-compliance.
This is a no-brainer.
Towns should follow Four Seasons lead
Yes, by all means, dock owners should be required to have their docks inspected on a regular basis. Maybe every five years would be appropriate.
Moreover, local governmental entities, such as fire departments, should conduct such inspections. It is a matter of public safety. I recently had a new dock installed and received a letter from Ameren UE instructing me to get it inspected by my local fire department within seven days.
Even though I had hired a qualified electrician to install the electricity, I thought it was a good idea. I tried several times to contact my local fire department in Gravois Mills, but soon learned that that department did not do dock inspections. I called Ameren for further advice and was told since I did not live in a district that offered such inspections, I was exempt from their
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I found this unacceptable since the safety of my dock is as important as that of someone who does live in a district where inspections are provided by the local fire district. I have noticed a private electrician recently advertising the performance of such inspections but I prefer an unbiased opinion from an entity that does not have a vested interest.
Therefore, my hat is off to Four Seasons for offering dock inspections to its citizens. All cities and/or counties should do the same to protect the safety of all who enjoy the lake.
Joyce Everhart Hoff
Dock owners should be responsible
In reference to whether or not dock inspection be mandatory to …”prevent electrocution deaths of swimmers in the lake” I believe the precedent has already been well established, i.e.
You cannot get your vehicle licensed until you pass a safety inspection. Since people are dying because of this failure to pass a safety inspection, it is clear as to what must be done.
Accordingly, (1) docks on the lake are the property and thus the responsibility of the owner of said dock, (2) Ameren (previously UE) grants licenses of dock to be on the lake. Since much information is required to obtain a license number, why not also require (and provide documentation) to Ameren that your dock has passed inspection, i.e. GFI certified.
Individuals need to be held accountable
I think it's great that the Village of Four Seasons has the budget and personnel to provide free inspection for their dock owners. However I don't think other municipalities and towns will have the luxury to provide the same for all other dock owners on the lake. I feel it is the responsibility of the individual dock owners to be as certain as possible their wiring to the dock is safe, just like with their homes.
Owners should have a qualified inspection and if it is not safe it should be reported to the correct authorities and if not repaired perhaps a fine should be imposed until corrected. However, with the turbulence created by all the massive boats that are now creating other safety problems on the lake, how will we ever be sure that our precautions haven't been damaged by activity we have no control over.