Lake Ozark to See New Dock Safety Regulations

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LAKE OZARK - The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a proposed ordinance Tuesday evening that will require all docks in the city to be inspected annually.

The Lake Ozark Fire Protection District will inspect the docks to ensure that they are free of any obstruction that could increase the likelihood of a lighting strike or electrocution of a bystander. The new ordinance comes after multiple deaths in recent years at the lake, as a result of electrocution and subsequent drowning. 

Osage Beach has a similar arrangement in place.

"We opted to consider something that Osage Beach had approached, which was to actually have an agreement with the fire protection district to perform dock inspections here within the city," City Administrator Dave Van Dee said.

Before Tuesday's agreement, the city did not issue inspection permits because Ameren privately owns the lake.

Dan Field, an Osage Beach resident, said the approval of the inspections will make the lake safer for everyone.

"It's a great thing any time you can get cities, municipalities, fire departments, police departments to agree to work forward for the safety of the residents and our visitors," Field said.

Field said Osage Beach and Village of Four Seasons already have these types of ordinances in place. He said they help put his mind at ease while spending time on the lake.

"I've got grandkids from Iowa that come down here, you know," He said. "I swim in the lake, I swim around docks and honestly I never gave it a thought until a few years ago when these incidents happened."

Field said this ordinance means now the whole lake will feel a little safer.