Lake Ozark Approves New Ordinance for Dock Inspections

Jun 30, 2014

Credit bsabarnowl / flickr

  The city of Lake Ozark unanimously passed an ordinance that will take more precautions against electrocutions involving boat docks at the Lake of the Ozarks. Lake Ozark is modeling their new ordinance after Osage Beach's inspection requirements. 

  Osage Beach's approach requires inspections when a new dock is installed, when a dock moves locations, when any addition is made to an existing dock or when electrical upgrades are made.

Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee said the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District will carry out the inspections.

"The city hadn't offered that particular service and was not part of our normal regulatory authority," Van Dee said. "We went to the fire protection district because that's a service that they do provide."

Van Dee also said dock owners will pay for the inspections individually through a user fee, not through tax dollars.

Lake of the Ozarks electrician Don Doyle thinks many docks on the lake require serious attention with safety improvements.

"They've got wire from the shore that's up on a pole or tied to a tree that swings out over the water and goes through the roof," Doyle said.

Tragedy struck two years ago when three people died in two separate incidents during the July Fourth holiday weekend. The victims died from drowning after electric shock, including two siblings from Ashland who were 8 and 13 years old.

"We can't afford to have bad news surrounding people who are coming down here looking to have a good time and something terrible like that happens to them," Doyle said. "That's a black eye to the area and it has a negative impact on business."

There have been no electrocutions at the Lake of the Ozarks since July 7, 2012.