New Osage Beach dock inspection ordinance to take effect Sept. 1

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | 7:06 p.m. CDT; updated 11:49 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 24, 2013

COLUMBIA — A new requirement under the Osage Beach dock inspection program will take effect on Sept. 1. 

The new amendment to the program will require residents with private docks to be inspected when they transfer ownership. The area affected by the new amendment is from Lake of the Ozarks city limits to Linn Creek within the fire district, said Ed Nicholson, chief fire marshal for the Osage Beach Fire District. Inspections are required for docks that meet the follow requirements:

  • Docks that were constructed after Jan. 1, 2006.
  • New or used docks that were moved after Jan. 1, 2006.
  • A dock's electrical system is being updated or when renovations to the structure of the dock require electrical updates.

About 70 additional homes per year will need the inspection, Nicholson said.

Permits cost $50 for docks with less than four wells, parking slots for the boats on the dock. For each additional well, there is an additional $6. About 80 percent of residents have an average of two wells per dock, Nicholson said.

The Osage Beach Fire Protection District has been in the process of expanding the program for about two years, Nicholson said. The process sped up after three electrocutions from residential docks occurred in 2012. Alexandra Anderson, 13, and Brayden Anderson, 8, died near their family dock, and Jennifer Lankford, 26, was killed in Dry Branch Cove.

Of the eight fire districts incorporated in the dock inspection program, Osage Beach passed the new amendment on a trial run for one year. After that year, the districts will review the pilot program to see if the other seven districts will accept the amendment. Districts do not have to immediately accept the ordinance after the trial run. 

Nicholson said after talking with people such as electricians and home realtors, the fire district decided the new ordinance was the most reasonable way to expand the program to help reduce accidents. While other programs have been discussed, there are no upcoming programs in the works, Nicholson said. The programs that have been discussed are still in the discussion and planning stages. 

Supervising editor is Shaina Cavazos.

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